Former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, made headline again on Tuesday, as a Federal High Court in Lagos, ordered that a bank account containing N350 million linked to her be temporarily frozen.
The money which belongs to AM-PM Global Network Ltd and lodged in Stanbic-IBTC bank, according to the ruling of the court, should be placed on temporary attachment pending the outcome of the current investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The order of the court presided over by Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari, was sequel to an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC and argued by its lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, against the company.
The anti-graft agency contended in an affidavit deposed to by one Musbau Yahaya, that between June 20, 2012 and November 15, 2013, the respondent illegally got a total sum of N1.2 billion, into its Diamond Bank account.
He said that the sum was proceeds of an unlawful enrichment allegedly derived by Mrs Jonathan, who was then a Permanent Secretary, appointed by the Bayelsa State government.
The deponent further alleged that in an effort to dissipate the fund, the respondent allegedly opened an account with Stanbic-IBTC Bank, adding that out of the proceeds, the respondent transferred N350 million, from its Diamond Bank account to the account sought to be attached.
The EFCC lawyer went further to explain that there was a frantic move to dissipate the funds, adding, that the agency had traced the alleged N350 million to the respondent’s account, now sought to be attached.
According to Oyedepo, there was an urgent need for a court order to mandate the bank to attach the account to prevent the dissipation of the funds. According to him, except the EFCC prayer was determined, the respondent would tamper with the account being sought to be attached.
He prayed the court to grant the application as it will serve the course of justice.
The presiding judge in his ruling on the matter after listening to the submissions of the EFCC counsel, ordered the temporary freezing of the N350 million, belonging to AM-PM Global Network Ltd, at the Stanbic-IBTC Bank, until EFCC concludes its ongoing investigation on the account.
Stories of EFCC tracing monies and properties said to have been illegally acquired by Mrs Jonathan as well as court orders freezing and unfreezing accounts either belonging to her or linked to her have continuously dominated headlines since this administration came into power in 2015.
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