Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan has filed a N200 million law suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Skye Bank Plc for freezing four of her accounts.
The frozen accounts are said to be in the name of four companies said to be linked to Mrs Jonathan, with a balance of $15, 591,700.
A certain 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.
A source at the EFCC said:
“While we were investigating Dudafa, we traced the four companies to him. The companies have domiciliary accounts at Skye Bank with a balance of about $15m. So, we obtained a court order and froze the accounts.”
“We then traced the directors of the companies who then denied ownership of the accounts.”
“It was later that we were informed that the accounts belonged to Patience Jonathan and that she is the sole signatory to the accounts. She was given a special card which she used in making withdrawals across the world.”
“We, therefore, wondered why the accounts were not opened in her name if she had nothing to hide.”
“In fact, we later found out that her personal account, which bears her name, has a balance of $5m. One wonders where a person, who has never held a government position, got the money from. She was not our initial target but she certainly has questions to answer.”
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. The case has been adjourned till 15th September .