Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Multi-billion naira heist uncovered as court freezes Patience Jonathan’s multiple accounts

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has frozen multiple accounts allegedly linked to a former first lady, Patience Jonathan, in five Nigerian banks.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had sought an ex-perte order to freeze the accounts in Ecobank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Diamond Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc accounts over allegations of money laundering.

One of the accounts, domiciled with Skye Bank plc, has a balance of $5,316.66.

The ex-parte application was supported by an originating summons sworn to by Abdullahi Tukur, an operative of EFCC, and filed before the court by the commission’s prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo.

Mr. Oyedepo requested the court to urgently direct the managers of the bank accounts contained in the schedule filed with the summons (FHC/L/CS/1343/16) to, in the interim, forfeit the money in the accounts, to prevent further tampering with such.

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Granting the order, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered 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.

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

Finchley Top Homes Limited is alleged to have fraudulently open account number 1102001996 domiciled with Ecobank Plc and has a current balance of N226,376,700.23 and a fixed deposit with a balance of N1,099,511,484.88.

The company also fraudulently opened other accounts. They are account 1771731336, domiciled with Skye Bank and with a current balance of N14,173,848.85; Fidelity Bank account 4011019539 with a current balance of N1,800,494,000; Stanbic Bank account 0016901361 with a current balance of N40,594,12.88; and Diamond Bank account 0019213687 with a current balance of N39,418,712.12.

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Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation opened account number 1222014221 with Ecobank and has a closing balance of N479,893,431.01, while Magel Resort Limited accounts
(4011019546/5250059782) with Fidelity Bank has a subsisting balance of N1,000,494,000.

The company also operates two other accounts (1011744356) in Zenith Bank, which has a balance of N858,923,982, and 0024351590 with Diamond Bank and has a balance of N174,166,207.00.

AM-PM Global Network Limited opened account number 0026718889 at Diamond Bank and has a balance of N7,213,303.50.

The account opened by Pansy Oil and Gas Limited at Fidelity Bank (4011019577) has a current balance of N1,809,666,494.68, while that at Diamond Bank (0026838491) has a balance of N55,930,024.50.

Also suspected of fraud is a lady named Esther Oba, who has a balance of $429,381.87 in her account, while the companies collectively have balances totaling N7,418,829,290.94 in six commercial banks.

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Ms. Oba was found to have opened account number 0019213689 with Diamond Bank and has a current balance of $429,381.87.

According to the EFCC, it carried out the analyses after receiving an intelligence report, which showed that the accounts ought to be investigated.

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