by Adim Esohe
Patience Jonathan, wife of former president Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to release the ‘no-operate’ embargo placed on four Skye Bank accounts belonging to her.
The former First Lady made the appeal in a letter forwarded by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co., to the Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, regarding the accounts with $15 million reportedly lodged in them. Reports have it that the four accounts belonged to the following companies: 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.
According to Jonathan, the said money was used to settle medical bills while she was out of the country.
The letter read in part: “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.”
Meanwhile, an EFCC source has claimed that Patience Jonathan also owns a Skye Bank account with $5 million lodged in her name. According to the source, if the frozen funds were truly meant to settle medical bills, the amount the her authentic account is adequate to serve that purpose.
The EFCC is yet to officially respond to Jonathan’s request.