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EFCC Withdraws Motion To Freeze Patience Jonathan’s Account

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Tuesday withdrew its application for a stay of execution of the judgment which unfreezed the account of wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on April 6 unfreezed the account with Skye Bank Plc with her over $5,842,316.66 (about N1.7billion) lodged in it.

Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), had argued that her client was not a party to suit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the basis of which the account was frozen.

Dissatisfied with the order, EFCC filed an application for stay of execution and a notice of appeal.
The two applications, according to EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, were dated April 6, and filed on April 7.

Tuesday, Oyedepo informed Justice Olatoregun of the commission’s intention to discontinue the two applications.

Adedipe confirmed the service of the application for withdrawal.

He informed the court of his intention to withdraw contempt applications he filed against the bank.

He said the Form 48 (notice of consequence of disobedience of court order) and Form 49 were  filed against the Skye Bank for failing to obey the order unfreezing Jonathan’s account.

Justice Olatoregun granted the applications.
She froze the account last year along with that of five companies and Esther Oba’s.

The companies’ accounts were said to have balances amounting to N7.4billion; Oba’s was said to have $429,381.87 (about N131,712,634.09).

Adedipe had urged the court to defreeze the account on the ground that his client was not a party to the suit.
Citing judicial authorities, he contended that the suit was an abuse of court process as the court had no jurisdiction to make an order against a person that was not a party to a suit before it.

EFCC, it was learnt, did not file any response to the application to discharge the order.

Ruling, Justice Olatoregun upheld Adedipe’s submission and discharged the order freezing the account.

She made an order directing EFCC and Skye Bank to immediately unfreeze the account because all the claims in the plaintiff’s affidavit were not challenged or controverted.

The judge said although EFCC was served with the application to unfreeze the account, it filed no response to counter it.

“It is trite in law that an order cannot be made against any person who is not a party before the court. It was not controverted that Dame Patience Jonathan is not a party in the order obtained in this court.

“I hereby make an order unfreezing the Skye Bank account belonging to Dame patience Jonathan forthwith,” the judge said.

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