The Federal High Court, Lagos has granted a fresh ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an order forfeiting the sum of $5.8 million belonging to former First Lady Patience Jonathan.
This is coming a day after the EFCC withdrew a stay of execution application on the ruling ordering the unfreezing of the said account.
After issuing a freeze order on the said Skye Bank account belonging to Jonathan in December 2016, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, earlier in April ordered that the account be unfrozen, but the former first lady could still not access the account as the EFCC had filed a motion for stay of execution.
On Tuesday, when the case came up for mention, the EFCC said it was withdrawing the motion, meaning that Jonathan was free to withdraw from the account.
However, on Wednesday, the anti-corruption agency filed an application seeking that the money in the ex-first lady’s account be temporarily forfeited to the federal government, pending the determination of its investigations.
The EFCC argued that the $5,842,316.66, contained in the account is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
The order of the court was sequel to another affidavit in support of the ex-parte originating summons sworn to by Abdullahi Tukur, an investigating officer of the EFCC and filed by the commission’s prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo.
Tukur in the affidavit explained that the forfeiture order is necessary in order to prevent further tampering with the accounts while investigation remains ongoing.
Also affected by the said order are the bank accounts of five other companies also said to be under investigation.
One of the accounts, containing a balance of $429,381.87 in six different commercial banks, was linked to one Esther Oba.
The National Television Authority, NTA, reports that Patience Jonathan’s foster mother who died in 2013 goes by the name Charity Obah, but stated that it was not clear yet whether there is a connection between the two names.
Other bank accounts that were affected by the forfeiture order includes: Finchley Top Homes Limited; Aribawa Aruera; Magel Resort limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited and Pansy Oil and Gas limited.