Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to lift restrictions placed on five of her bank accounts, which allegedly contain $31.4 million, saying that she needs the funds for her medical bills and other expenses.
The Skye Bank accounts have been the subject of controversy since Mrs Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, admitted owning them.
Mrs Jonathan made the plea to the EFCC via a letter written by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co and addressed to the agency’s chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
The letter reads in part:
“It is noteworthy to emphasize 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.”
Four of the accounts in question were created under the names of 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.