Friday, September 29, 2017

Patience Jonathan Goes To Court, Sues Skye Bank, EFCC For N200Million

The tussle between former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, the EFCC and Skye Bank Plc is still ongoing. Mrs Jonathan has now filed a suit against the bank and the commission over the 'No Debit Order' placed on her accounts.

The Federal High Court in Lagos, on Thursday, September 28, fixed November 2, 2017 for hearing the N200 million fundamental rights enforcement suit she filed.

The order was placed by the EFCC on the bank accounts of the four companies domiciled in Skye Bank, which have a total of $15.5 million in them since July 2016.

Mrs Jonathan claimed that the funds in the companies’ accounts belonged to her though she was not a signatory to any of the accounts.

Other defendants joined in the suit are the EFCC and the four firms linked to Mr Dudafa.

They are; Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd; Seagate Property Development and Investment Co. Ltd; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd; and Globus Integrated Service Ltd.

According to PremiumTimes, the affidavit filed in support of the suit, which was sworn by one Sammie Somiari, deposed that Mrs Jonathan had asked Mr Dudafa to help her open five bank accounts.

Mr Somiari averred that Mr. Dudafa opened only one account in Mrs. Jonathan’s name and four others in the names of the four companies linked to him.

According to Mr Somiari, Mr Dudafa had on March 22, 2010, brought two Skye Bank officers, Demola Bolodeoku and Dipo Oshodi, to meet Mrs Jonathan at home to open the five accounts.

He, however, claimed that after the five accounts were opened, Mrs Jonathan later discovered that Mr Dudafa opened only one of the accounts in her name.

Mr Somiari added that the applicant (Mrs Jonathan) complained to Mr. Dudafa and the bank officials, who promised to change the accounts to the applicant’s name but did not do so.

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

“Besides, the ATM credit cards bearing the said companies’ names were given to the applicant by the bank official, Mr. Oshodi, who promised to replace the cards but he never did.

“However, from 2010 until 2014 and thereafter, the applicant used the cards and operated the said accounts without any hindrance.

“Even when the applicant travelled overseas for medical treatment sometime in 2016, she used the cards till they stopped functioning."

Therefore, Mrs Jonathan, through her lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe, is seeking N200 million damages against Skye Bank for denying her access to the $15.5 million in the four accounts.

She also asked the court to lift the ‘No Debit Order’ placed on the accounts by the EFCC.

Meanwhile, it was earlier reported that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions directed six commercial banks to unblock accounts operated by former first lady, Patience Jonathan.

Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, a PDP senator from Abia, who chaired the committee reportedly gave the directive on Tuesday, September 19, in Abuja.

TTB however gathered that, the leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, stated through his twitter handle on Wednesday, September 20, that the House is yet to approve the committee's ruling.

“Contrary to reports, the House has not made a decision on freezing of bank accts. The cttee report will be debated on resumption,” he tweeted.

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