The Federal High Court, Lagos has upturned the freeze order placed on the Skye Bank account of former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.
The account which reportedly contained $5.8 million was frozen in November 2016, after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, filed an application before the court claiming that the funds were suspected to be proceeds of crime.
At the resumption of hearing on Thursday, counsel to the former first lady, Ifedayo Adedipe, who led a team of other lawyers asked the court to unfreeze the account as Patience was not part of the original suit that led to the freezing of the account in the first place.
Adedipe argued that the application by the EFCC was an abuse of court process as the court had no jurisdiction to make an order against someone who is not a party in a suit filed before the court.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun in her ruling upheld the submissions and consequently vacated the order freezing the account.
Also affected by the said order are five companies and one Esther Oba said to be having a total sum of N7.4 billion in six different banks.
In an affidavit to support its application for the forfeiture of the account, an investigating officer of EFCC, Abdulahi Tukur, had claimed that there was an urgent need for the court to direct a forfeiture of the sum so as to prevent the defendant from tampering with the funds.
Other companies affected by the order are Finchley Top Homes Ltd, Aribawa Aruera, Magel resort Ltd, AM-PM Global Network Ltd, Pansy Oil and GasLtd, and Pagmat oil and Gas Ltd.
Finchely Top Homes Ltd was said to have a current account credit balance of about N226 million and a fixed deposit with a balance of N1 billion.