Dame Patience Jonathan, Sues EFCC Over illegal freezing of accounts - EazyFeeds

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Sunday 11 September 2016

Dame Patience Jonathan, Sues EFCC Over illegal freezing of accounts

Former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonthan, has filed a N200 million fundamental rights enforcement suit against the Economic and Finan­cial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Skye Bank Plc, following the Commission’s freezing of her four accounts in the bank.

The accounts are in the name of four companies said to be linked to the wife of former President Good­luck Jonathan, with a bal­ance of $15, 591,700.

One Sammie Somiari, who deposed to an affidavit on behalf of Patience, who is said to be away for an urgent medical treatment abroad, claimed that the EFCC placed a No Debit Order on the four accounts in July in the course of prob­ing Mr. Waripamo Dudafa, a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Jonathan.

The four companies which have also been charged with money laun­dering along with Dudafa, are Pluto Property and In­vestment Company Limited; Seagate Property Develop­ment & Investment Co. Lim­ited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Development Company Limited and Glo­bus Integrated Service Lim­ited.

Somiari said in the af­fidavit that it was Dudafa who helped Patience to open the four banks ac­counts although she is the sole signatory to them.

According to him, Dudafa had on March 22, 2010 brought two Skye Bank officers, Demola Bolodeoku and Dipo Os­hodi, to meet Patience at home to open five accounts.

He, however, claimed that after the five accounts were opened, Patience later discovered that Dudafa opened only one of the ac­counts in her name while the other four were opened in the names of companies belonging to Dudafa.

Somiari stated that “the applicant (Patience) complained about this to Honourable Dudafa, who at his prompting and in­stance promised to effect the change of the said ac­counts to the applicant’s name; and to effect this change, Honourable Du­dafa brought the said bank manager, Mr. Dipo Osho­di, who purported to have effected the changes. This was about April 2014.

“The applicant is not a director, shareholder or participant in the compa­nies named in the afore­mentioned four accounts.

“The bank official, Mr. Dipo Oshodi, as it would appear did not effect or reflect the instruction of the applicant to change the said accounts to her name(s) despite repeated requests of the applicant.

“Besides, the ATM cred­it cards bearing the said companies’ names were brought to the applicant by Mr. Dipo Oshodi of the 2nd respondent bank, who promised to replace them once the cards bear­ing the changed names were available, but he never did.

“However, since 2010 up until 2014 and thereafter, the applicant had been using the cards on the said accounts and operating the said ac­counts without let or hin­drance.

“Even in May, June and July 2016, the applicant traveled overseas for medi­cal treatment and was using the said credit cards abroad up until July 7, 2016 or thereabouts when the cards stopped functioning.”

In her fundamental rights action, Patience is urging the court to compel the EFCC to immediately remove the No Debit Order placed on her accounts.

She also wants the court to order Skye Bank to pay her damages in the sum of N200m for what she termed a violation of her right to own personal property un­der Section 44 of the Consti­tution.

The EFCC has however, filed an amended 17-count against Dudafa and seven others, including the four companies, wherein the suspects are now accused of conspiring to conceal $15, 591,700, which they ought to have known to be part of proceeds of an unlawful act.

The Commission is mov­ing to arraign Dudafa and his alleged accomplices for money laundering before a Federal High Court in La­gos.

Further proceeding in the case has been adjourned till September 15, 2016.

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