A Federal High Court in Lagos has on Thursday threw out a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking to forfeit to the Federal government of Nigeria, the sum of $5,316.66 USD, domiciled in Skye Bank Plc, and linked to the former first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and six others.
The court threw out the suit at the instance of the EFCC, which had applied to the court to strike out the suit.
Other beneficiaries of the ruling are five companies, which were having total sums of N7,418,829,290.94 billion, and one Esther Oba, who is said to be having $429, 381.87 million.
The companies are: Finchley Top Homes Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited, Aribawa Arura Reachout Foundation, and Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited and Mabel Resort Limited.
The monies were said to be kept in six different commercial banks.
The court, presided by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, had sometime in December 2016, while granting EFCC’s exparte application filed and argued before the court by counsel to the commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, ordered that the account be frozen pending the conclusion of investigation on the money, in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1342/16, between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Skye Bank Plc along with the companies listed above, and Esther Oba.
The judge had also ordered the EFCC to file an undertaking as to damages if it turned out that the order was not to have been made.
In urging the court to temporarily freeze the account, the EFCC through one of its investigators, Mr. Abdulahi Tukura, in an affidavit, told the court that the former first lady used different companies and individuals to acquired the money.
In the said affidavit, Tukura had averred that Dame Patience Jonathan’s money in Skye bank account number 2110001712 with a current balance of $5,842,316.66 million, is reasonably suspected to be a proceed from corruption.
He stated that all the companies mentioned in the suit have their accounts in four commercial banks where the monies were kept.
Tukura had stated in the affidavit that upon the receipt of intelligent report on the accounts, his commission analyzed it and found it to be worthy of investigation. He, therefore, averred that it will serve the course of Justice to grant his application.
However, at the resumed hearing of the matter, lawyer to other respondents, Mr. Ige Asemudara, told the court that he was duly informed by the EFCC lawyer, Mr. Mohammed idris that the anti-graft agency had signified to discontinue the suit by filing a notice of discontinuance.
Asemudara, therefore, urged the court to strike out the suit. Asemudara’s application was granted, and Justice Olatoregun consequently struck out the suit. (Daily Trust)