Wednesday, September 14, 2016 8:59 am
Nigeria’s former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan has now said the $15m deposit frozen in four companies’ accounts as an object on money laundering investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC was for her medical bills.
The four accounts domiciled in Skye Bank were registered in the name of Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Globus Integrated Service Limited.
Reports indicated that some domestic workers of the former First Lady as well as a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to Jonathan, Waripamowei Dudafa, were were listed as directors of the companies.
But in the letter with reference number GA/Abibo/00226/2016, Mrs Jonathan’s lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co., said the accounts belonged to the former First Lady who was given a platinum card and exclusive access to them by Skye Bank.
Mrs Jonathan said she has been drawing from the account while she was out of the country receiving treatments to pay her medical bills the letter which was addressed to the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.
She therefore urged EFCC and Skye Bank to lift the restrictions on the accounts.
“It is noteworthy to emphasise that the said accounts, which were in US dollar denomination, were card-based accounts and our client is the sole signatory to these accounts.
“However, our client has been operating the said accounts using the cards for her medical bill payments and purchases for her private purposes without any let or hindrance.
“Our client was therefore surprised when the said cards stop functioning on July 7, 2016, or thereabout. Our client immediately, thereupon, contacted Skye Bank Plc through our solicitors.
‘‘It was only then that the bank officials informed our client that the said accounts were placed on a ‘No Debit Order’ following investigations and instruction from your commission and this is without notice to our client by either the bank or the commission.
“It is in the light of the foregoing that we urge you to use your good offices to vacate the ‘No Debit/Freezing Order’ placed on the said accounts.”
“Despite the foregoing, our client, who is a law-abiding citizen, has watched with surprise how efforts are being made surreptitiously to indirectly harass or harangue her and short-change her of her personal funds in breach of her fundamental human rights.
“We urge you sir, to kindly intervene to stop the untoward and wrongful actions of your officials to embarrass, inconvenience and short-change our client,” the lawyer said in the letter to the EFCC Chairman,” Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer said in the letter.