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
The committal proceedings initiated by Patience and 10 others are against the MDs/CEOs of;
The MDs of the three banks have denied the allegations of
disobedience of the December 5, 2017 order of the court levelled against
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.
bank stated that it, in compliance with the court order, unfroze the
accounts of the applicants kept with the bank on December 15, 2017.
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.
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.
He stated, “In response to the letters dated
December 20, 2017, the bank, vide letters dated December 21, 2017, for
the 11th judgment creditor/respondent for the balance in the unfrozen
account if she fails to provide details of account into which the said
balance should be transferred on or before January 4, 2018.
response, the 11th judgment creditor/respondent and her counsel,
respectively informed the bank that the 11th judgment
creditor/respondent does not have any account in her name where monies
can be transferred and would prefer cash to be paid to her as the
lodgments made into that account were done in cash.
judgment creditor/respondent further wrote the bank on December 27, 2017
supplying three separate accounts of her counsel telling the bank that
the said sum be paid into those three named accounts of solicitors who
are third parties and the balance paid to her in cash.
with the bank’s letter of December 21, 2017, upon the failure of the
11th judgment creditor/respondent and her counsel respectively to
provide any account details in her name to transfer the funds in her
unfrozen account, the bank, on January 17, 2018, issued in her name a
bank cheque number 014602 in the sum of $3,626,273.71 (three million,
six hundred and twenty-six thousand, two hundred and seventy-three
dollars, seventy one cents only) representing the total balance in her
account with the bank, less applicable charges.
“Further to the
above, the bank also informed the 11th judgment creditor/respondent and
her counsel respectively vide letters dated January 17, 2018, to visit a
designated office of the bank in Abuja to pick the cheque.”
Punch reports that Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in
Abuja had on May 30, 2017 frozen a total of 16 accounts, including 13
kept with the three banks.
The accounts were frozen by the court
following an application by the EFCC alleging that huge sums of money in
foreign currencies suspected to be proceeds of crimes were kept in the
Following an application by Patience Jonathan and
others challenging the freezing order, the court, on December 5, 2017,
unfroze the accounts and lifted all the restrictions placed on them.
Patience and other 10 applicants, via their motion filed on January 6,
2018, alleged that the three banks had refused to comply with the court
order unfreezing their accounts.
Patience is the number 11 applicant on the motion paper.
The rest of the applicants are corporate bodies, which are also linked to the wife of the former President.
include the Incorporated Trustees of Ariwabai Aruera Reachout
Foundation, Pagmat Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, Finchley Top Homes
Limited , AM PM Global Network Limited, Magel Resort Limited and the
Incorporated Trustees of Women for Change and Development Initiative
The rest are Transocean Property and Investment Limited,
Seagate Property Development Investment Company, Globus Integrated
Services and Pluto Property and Investment Company.
applicants’ legal team comprising three Senior Advocates of Nigeria,
Ifedayo Adedipe, Mike Ozekhome and Granville Abibo, stated in the
applicant’s motion that despite being served with Form 48 (notice of
disobedience of court order) and Form 49 (notice of consequence of
disobedience of court order), the bank chiefs had refused to comply with
the December 5, 2017 court order.
But the First Bank chief,
responded to the applicants’ motion by filing another application on
February 1, 2018, asking for among others, an order striking out or
dismissing the committal proceedings and the Forms 48 and 49 served on
He argued that the committal proceedings were incompetent
since the Forms 48 and 49 were not served on him personally as required
by the relevant laws and the court’s rules.
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