Court To Hear Suit Against Patience Jonathan On February 13

Patience Jonathan, Court, EFCCA Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned hearing of the suit filed by wife of Nigeria’s former president, Mrs Patience Jonathan, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and six others till February 13.

In the suit, the former first lady claimed ownership of the sum of $15.5 million which was frozen by the EFCC after it obtained an order from the court.

Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned the proceedings after Mrs Jonathan’s lawyer, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe, made a case for more time to enable him serve his amended claims on the respondents.

There was no opposition to his request.

The other respondents in the case are Skye Bank Plc, a former aide to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa and four other companies.

In a separate case before Justice Babs Kuewunmi, the companies pleaded guilty to the offence of laundering the said amount of money.

Mrs Jonathan, however, claimed that the money belonged to her, saying she was the sole signatory to the accounts of the companies.

She, however, denied ownership of the companies.

Alleged Money Laundering: Court Freezes Patience Jonathan’s Accounts In Five Banks

Alleged Money Laundering: Court Freezes Patience Jonathan's Accounts In Five BanksA Federal High Court in Lagos has frozen multiple accounts in five Nigerian banks allegedly belonging to former first lady, Patience Jonathan over allegations of money laundering.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun made the order freezing the accounts after listening to an exparte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), sometime in November.

The order, according to the Commission, covers Mrs. Jonathan’s accounts in Ecobank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Diamond Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc.

The anti-graft agency said that the move to request the freezing of the accounts became necessary after it received intelligence report, which showed that the accounts ought to be investigated.

The ex-parte application to freeze the accounts was supported by an originating summons sworn to by one Abdulahi Tukur, an operative of EFCC, and filed before the court by the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo.

It requested the court to urgently direct the managers of the bank accounts to, in the interim, forfeit the money in the accounts, to prevent further tampering with same.

After issuing the order, Justice Olatoregun directed the anti-graft agency to enter into an undertaking to pay damages to the former first lady if it turns out that the order should not have been made.

One of the account, domiciled with Skye Bank plc, is said to have a balance of $5,316.66.

Also affected by the order are five companies namely; Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera, Magel Resort Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited and Pansy Oil and Gas Limited.

Also affected is one Esther Oba who is said to have a balance of $429,381.87 in her Diamond Bank account while the companies collectively have a balance totaling N7,418,829,290.94 (Seven billion four hundred and eighteen million eight hundred and twenty nine thousand two hundred and ninety naira ninety four kobo).

Patience Jonathan Sues EFCC For Placing ‘No Debit Order’ On $31.4m Account

Patience-Jonathan-in-EdoFormer First Lady, Patience Jonathan has filed a N200m fundamental rights enforcement suit against Skye Bank Plc, following the freezing of four bank accounts, which she claims the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has used to inconvenience and embarrass her.

The four accounts, lodged with Skye Bank Plc, are in the name of four companies which is said to have a balance of $31.4m

The four companies 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.

In an affidavit filed before the court and deposed to by one Sammie Somiari, a legal practitioner on behalf of Patience Jonathan, the deponents claims that the EFCC placed a No Debit Order on the four accounts in July in the course of probing one Waripamo Dudafa, a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

After its investigations, the EFCC went ahead to file an amended 17-count against Dudafa and seven others, including the four companies, with the defendants being accused of conspiring to conceal the monies which the EFCC claimed they ought to have known formed parts of the proceeds of an unlawful act.

In the affidavit however, Sammie Somiari claims that it was Dudafa who helped Mrs Patience Jonathan to open the four bank accounts which the EFCC froze.

According to him, Dudafa had on March 22, 2010 brought two Skye Bank officers, Demola Bolodeoku and Dipo Oshodi, to meet the former first lady at home to open five accounts.

He, however, claimed that after the five accounts were opened, Mrs Patience Jonathan 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 “that Mrs Jonathan complained about this to Honourable Dudafa, who at her 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 claimed to have effected the changes. This was about April 2014.

“The bank official, Mr. Dipo Oshodi, as it would appear did not effect or reflect the instruction of the applicant to change the said accounts to her name(s) despite repeated requests.

The deponent also claims that Mrs Patience Jonathan who is said to be away for an urgent medical treatment abroad, is the sole signatory to the accounts as the money belongs to her.

The affidavit also said that the ATM credit cards bearing the said companies’ names were brought to Mrs Jonathan by the bank manager who promised to replace them once the cards bearing the changed names were available, but he never did.

“However, since 2010 up until 2014 and thereafter, Mrs Jonathan had been using the cards on the said accounts and operating the said accounts without let or hindrance. Even in May, June and July 2016, the former First Lady traveled overseas for medical treatment and was using the said credit cards abroad up until July 7, 2016 or thereabouts when the cards stopped functioning.”

In her fundamental rights action before the court, the wife of the former President is asking the court to compel the EFCC to immediately vacate the “No Debit Order” placed on her accounts.

She also says the action of the EFCC without a court order or prior notice to her is illegal, overbearing and constitutes a breach of her fundamental rights as enshrined in Section 33, 34, 35 & 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

She wants the court to order Skye Bank to pay her damages in the sum of N200m for what she termed a violation of her right to own personal property under Section 44 of the Constitution.

The EFCC on its part is set to arraign the former Presdent’s aide, Dudafa and his alleged accomplices for money laundering before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The case will be heard on Thursday, Sept 15.

AMCON Announces Preferred Bidder For Mainstreet Bank

AMCONThe Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has announced Skye Bank Plc as the preferred bidder for the acquisition of the entire issued and fully paid up ordinary shares of Mainstreet Bank Limited.

It also announced Cedar One Investment Partners Limited as the 1st reserve bidder and Fidelity Bank as the second reserve bidder.

In a statement, Kayode Lambo, Head, Corporate Communications Strategy, AMCON, said this followed the receipt of the approval of its board of directors.

It said the completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfillment of the conditions precedent as stated in the share sale and purchase agreement (SPA) to be executed with Skye Bank Plc as well as the receipt of all required regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

AMCON said this process started with interest shown by 25 parties cutting across local and international investors. The emergence of Skye Bank, Cedar and Fidelity Bank as preferred 1st and 2nd reserve bidders, respectively, resulted from a rigorous and competitive bidding process, which was coordinated for AMCON by Barclays Africa Group Limited and Afrinvest West Africa Limited (financial advisers) and Banwo & Ighodalo (legal advisers), AMCON said.

Main Street Bank commenced operation in August, 2011, as a full-service commercial bank with a national banking licence. The bank has 9 subsidiaries; and a distribution network comprising 201 branches across 35 out of 36 states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; 9 cash centres and 200 automated teller machines (ATM).

Kaduna Partners Commercial Bank To Increase IGR

Ebola virusKaduna State Government and Skye Bank Plc have entered into a partnership with the aim of increasing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

The State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, during the launch of the Point of Sale (PoS) terminals for the revenue collection scheme of the state, powered by Skye Bank, said the partnership is expected to accelerate the pace of development in the state.

The governor said that the current IGR of the state and the dwindling federal allocation were not enough to develop the state.

He noted that his government has a huge budget that was expected to be financed by IGR, adding that the IGR has been stagnant at about N1 billion per month in the past five years, hence the need to develop new and accountable means of revenue collection.

Yero warned that residents that evade tax are the ones who criticise government the most, adding that only civil servants have been up to date in tax payment in the state.

He accused politicians of tax evasion saying that they only pay their taxes when they need tax clearance from Board of Internal Revenue for electioneering purposes.

Highlighting the importance of the PoS terminals in revenue collection, the Regional Manager of Skye Bank, Mr Kawu Mohammed, said the project would ensure accountability and ensure taxes get to the government coffers.