The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday withdrew its application seeking the stay of execution of a court order which unfroze the Skye Bank account of the wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience with a balance of $5.9m.
A counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, appeared before the Federal High Court in Lagos which on April 6 unfroze Patience’s account, stating that the commission had changed its mind about appealing the unfreezing order.
Responding, Patience’s lawyer, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe, confirmed being served with the EFCC’s application to withdraw its application for stay of proceedings.
Adedipe said in view of the EFCC’s action, he would also withdraw the Form 48 and Form 49 he filed to cite Skye Bank for contempt of court for not allowing Patience access to her account in spite of the court order.
After hearing both parties out, Justice Olatoregun granted their prayers to withdraw their respective applications.
With the development, Patience Jonathan now has unfettered access to her bank account.
At the instance of the EFCC last year, Justice Olatoregun had made an interim order freezing multiple accounts linked with Patience.
The order was pursuant to an ex parte application by the anti-graft agency, wherein one of its operatives, Abdulahi Tukur, had told the judge that the funds retained in the said accounts were suspected proceeds of crime.
Tukur had told the judge that intelligence report by the anti-graft agency necessitated that the accounts be investigated, adding that it would be in the interest of justice that the accounts be frozen.
The accounts, opened in the names of companies and an individual, had a cumulative balance of N7,418,829,290.94 (N7.4bn) and $429,381.87.
Apart from Patience’s personal account, also affected were five companies, namely: Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera, Magel Resort Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited, Pansy Oil and Gas Limited.
Finchley Top Homes Limited’s account numbered 1102001996 in Ecobank, with a balance of N226,376,700.23 and a fixed deposit of N1,099,511,484.88 was frozen.