Seized $15.5m: Court hears Patience Jonathan, Skye Bank’s suit November 2

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed November 2 for hearing in the N200m fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, against Skye Bank Plc.

Also joined as defendants in the suit are a former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa; and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Four firms linked to Dudafa were also joined as defendants in the suit.

They are Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Development Company Limited; and Globus Integrated Service Limited.

Patience filed the suit to protest against the ‘No Debit Order’ placed by the EFCC on the bank accounts of the four companies domiciled in Skye Bank.

The four companies were said to have a total of $15.5m in their bank accounts, which the EFCC had since last year July frozen.

The EFCC froze the accounts while investigating Dudafa for money laundering.

But Patience claims that the funds in the companies’ accounts belonged to her though she was not a signatory to any of the accounts.

In an affidavit filed in support of the suit, one Sammie Somiari explained that Patience had asked Dudafa to help her open five bank accounts only for Dudafa to open one in Patience’s name and four others in the names of companies linked to him.

According to Somiari, Dudafa had on March 22, 2010 brought two Skye Bank officers, Demola Bolodeoku and Dipo Oshodi, to meet Patience at home to open five accounts.

He, however, claimed that after the five accounts were opened, Patience later discovered that Dudafa opened only one of the accounts in her name while the other four were opened in the names of companies belonging to Dudafa.

Somiari added, “The applicant (Patience) complained about this to Honourable Dudafa, who, at his prompting and instance, promised to effect the change of the said accounts to the applicant’s name; and to effect this change, Honourable Dudafa brought the said bank manager, Mr. Dipo Oshodi, who purported to have effected the changes. This was about April 2014.”

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