Mrs. Patience Jonathan, wife of the former President of Nigeria has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to arrest the Chief Executive Officers of three major banks, First Bank, Skye Bank and Diamond Bank for their persistent refusal to obey the order of court which lifted an embargo placed on the various bank accounts owned by her and others traced to her family members.
Already, forms 48 & 49, which are legal process of initiating the imprisonment for flouting the court orders had been served on Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank; Tokunbo Abiru, CEO Skye Bank and Uzoma Dozie, MD/CEO, Diamond Bank.
In a motion on notice brought pursuant to order 3, Rule 1 of the Federal High Court, Jonathan through her counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), is asking the court to commit the three bank chiefs to prison for deliberately refusing to comply with court order that embargo placed on the 16 bank accounts be lifted since December last year. In a motion dated , December 7, 2017, the ex-first lady, is also seeking for order of the court striking out a purported ‘ex parte originating summon’ filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), praying for forfeiture of all funds in the various bank accounts in the three banks to the Federal Government. The grouse of Mrs. Jonathan is that the purported ex parte originating summons constituted a gross abuse of court process and an attempt to undermine the earlier order of the court made in December last year de-freezing the bank accounts.
In a 20-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion, it was averred that the EFCC had on May 30, 2017, obtained an ex-parte order granted by Justice Binta Nyako, freezing all bank accounts traced to Mrs. Jonathan, her families and business interest.
The order made in respect of FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2016 was however to last for 90 days when the anti-graft agency was expected to have completed all investigations in respect of the bank accounts. The affidavit deposed to by one Chinedu Maduba, a legal practitioner in the law firm of G.I. Abibo (SAN), indicated that the order placed on the bank accounts through the EFCC ex-parte motion was vacated on December 5, 2017, when the 90-day life span of the ex-parte order expired and vacated by the same Justice Nyako.
The deponent averred that the embargo order on the bank accounts was not renewed or extended by the court in favour of EFCC. Jonathan and other applicants in the motion on notice claimed that all efforts to make transaction in the three banks in compliance with the December 5, 2017 order of the court de-freezing the accounts were resisted by the chief executive officers of the three banks. He further averred that upon enquiry on why transactions were not allowed in the bank accounts in compliance with court order, Mrs. Jonathan and other applicants were said to have been told that EFCC had filed ex-parte originating summon praying for the forfeiture of all monies in the accounts.
The former first lady has asked that the court jail the three bank chiefs, for acting in violation of the court order which de-freeze the accounts for transactions, because there was no renewal order or extension of the embargo earlier placed on the bank accounts.
At the last adjourned date, EFCC was not in court. Although counsel to the three bank chiefs were in court, Justice Nyako, however adjourned till April 11, to enable EFCC respond to issues raised in the motion and as well appear in court.
Source: News Express