Government

Frozen Accounts: Patience Jonathan asks court to Incarcerate Bank Chiefs

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Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to jail the Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of three banks for their alleged refusal to comply with the court’s order directing them to lift the restrictions placed on her accounts at the instance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The committal proceedings initiated by Patience and 10 others are against the MDs/CEOs of First Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Adesola Adeduntan, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru and Mr. Uzoma Dozie, respectively.

The MDs of the three banks have denied the allegations of disobedience of the December 5, 2017 order of the court levelled against them.

In his response to the applicants’ motion, Adeduntan said First Bank, had after verifying the authenticity of the court order served on it on December 11, 2017, complied with the order.

The bank stated that it, in compliance with the court order, unfroze the accounts of the applicants kept with the bank on December 15, 2017.

The First Bank CEO stated that after unfreezing the applicants’ accounts, the bank’s management decided to close Patience Jonathan’s account and informed her to supply the details of an account into which the balance in her First Bank account could be transferred.

He stated that rather than send the details of an account, Patience requested that she be paid in cash.

He stated that the bank considered her demand for cash payment as a request for assisting her to violate the provisions of the money laundering laws and banking regulations in Nigeria.

But he said despite writing Patience about the impossibility of the bank meeting her request, the wife of the former President insisted on getting her balance in cash.

Meanwhile, the EFCC had filed an ex parte application requesting a fresh order freezing the accounts belonging to Patience and 10 others.

But Patience, through her lawyers, asked the court to dismiss the EFCC’s application.

The EFCC was not represented at the proceedings on Friday.

But Justice Nyako noted that hearing notice was only served on the commission 24 hours before the proceedings.

She, therefore, fixed April 11 for hearing, directing that fresh notice be served on the commission.

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