Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan
Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan

Patience Jonathan: Reps Ask Banks to Free Accounts

Spread the love

By Abiemwense Moru

Abuja –  The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has directed six commercial banks to free accounts operated by former first lady, Patience Jonathan.

The committee chaired by Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (Abia-PDP), gave the directive on Tuesday in Abuja at a hearing on a petition by Jonathan.

The affected banks are Union Bank, First Bank, EcoBank, Diamond Bank, Fidelity Bank and Skye Bank.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had directed the banks to freeze the account over allegations of some irregularities over the sources of the funds.

Officials of Union Bank, led by a lawyer, Mr Kenneth Otowo, had told the panel that the bank placed Mrs Jonathan’s account under a ‘precautionary restriction’ following a directive by the EFCC.

“We received a communication from EFCC to put a precautionary restriction on the account. The letter was dated March 21, 2016, so we had to act based on that,’’ he said.

Related Story:  We Don’t Discriminate Against Nigerians — Bristow Helicopters

But, the committee deplored the action, saying that the bank could only take such decision if EFCC proved that it had obtained a court order to that effect.

“Until EFCC proves otherwise, I’ll ask you to remove the precautionary restriction on the account. Let me tell you, whatever you’ll do, you must follow the law. A bank can’t hold a legal entity to ransom.

“I want to order all other banks that all the accounts that have no specific pending order from the courts, please release them.’’ the committee chairman said.

Counsel to EcoBank, Mr Afam Osigwe, said Jonathan’s account could not have been on restriction because there was no court order to that effect.

He later said that the bank would cross-check its records and get back to the committee.

As for Diamond Bank, Jonathan’s lawyers said three of her accounts were frozen there.

However, Mrs Unoma Ndulue, who represented the bank, said two out of the three accounts were fully operative, while one was closed.

Related Story:  2019: Give Me More Time to Decide - Buhari Tells APC Govs

On Fidelity Bank, Mrs Jonathan’s lawyers said they did not have a direct issue with the bank, but that it was through the EFCC.

Officials of First Bank and Skye Bank were not present at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the committee has given Mr Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC acting Chairman, up to Oct. 4 to appear before it or have arrest warrant issued against him.

Similarly, the panel asked Jonathan’s lawyers and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to reconcile their positions on an alleged tax default of over N10 million.

FIRS had said that Aridolf Resort Wellness and SPA, owned by Mrs Jonathan, failed to pay taxes in spite of serial reminders.

However, her lawyers insisted that they had paid all their taxes to the agency. (NAN)

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Sundiata Post Media Ltd.

Address: 3rd Floor Office Suite, Bayelsa State Guest House, Plot 1038, Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria.
Tel: 08033083361, 08094208271 and 092900705
Whatsapp: 08053069436

Enugu Regional Office: SW 1 New Haven Shopping Mall, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Tel: +234(0)7062582838

London Office: 18 Belgrave Avenue, Wd18 7UE, Watford, United Kingdom.
Tel: +447417554143
Dubai Office: PAU Management Suite, Level 23 - Boulevard Plaza Tower 2, Emaar Boulevard,
P. O. Box 124342, Dubai, UAE.
Tel: +971 4 4096849 | Fax: +971 4 409 6850
About Us

SundiataPost is published by Sundiata Post Media Limited, Sundiata Post is Nigeria’s most authoritative online newspaper and ranks among the top five online news platforms in Nigeria.

Guild of Corporate online publishers
A Glance at Our Advert Rate.

Inside Pages

Size In Pixels - Amount

120×180 - N27,967.50

300×100 - N24,695

Text Link - N11,275

More Details info

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Advert Rate