Senate summons bank MDs over freezing of Patience Jonathan’s accounts

The Senate committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Monday, summoned the managing directors of seven banks over the freezing of the accounts of the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.

The committee also invited the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, over the same issue.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, gave the order at a sitting of his committee Monday at the hearing of a petition by the former First Lady.

The petition brought on behalf of Mrs. Jonathan by Granville Abibo (SAN) the former First Lady claimed that the EFCC and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency,( NDLEA) have at different times ” unleashed terror, dehumanizing, degrading and despicable treatment on her and her blood relations without justification.”

The committee was told that the accounts in which the former first lady’s funds are trapped include that of companies Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Seagate Property Development Investment Company and Transocean Property and Investment Ltd.

Also, the account of her Non- Governmental Organisation-The Women for Change Development Initiative, A.Aruera Foundation as well as Finchley Top Homes Ltd and the former Fist lady’s salary account were frozen the petitioner said.

“The accounts of her siblings, Innocent Nyegerefaka, Mohammed Oba and Esther Oba have all been frozen by EFCC without any court order, all because they are blood relations of Dame Patience Jonathan,” the petition further reads.

Senator Anyanwu who issued the summon, insisted that the Managing Directors must appear in person as no representative would be accepted.

EFCC chairman was absent from the hearing.

A letter sent to the committee, the anti-graft agency said Magu was out of the country and would be back to the country today (Tuesday).

As a result of the letter, the committee set Wednesday, 11th of October for the EFCC boss to appear before the committee.

Mrs. Jonathan’s counsel also informed the committee that his client has resolved her differences with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency hence they would like to strike out the name of NDLEA off the petition before the Senate.

Mrs. Jonathan counsel, Charles Ogboli, told the committee that the former First Lady’s accounts and that of her relations were frozen without any court order by the EFCC.

He lamented that the action culminated in the death of Lazarus Eware brother to Mrs. Jonathan.

He said: “The immediate elder brother to Patience Jonathan, Mr. Lazarus Eware died as a result of unfortunate maltreatment of him by EFCC as he could no longer cope in the face of this repeated humiliation, terror attacks and financial handicap.

“He could no longer meet up with his responsibilities of his family including children’s school fees and medical bills.

“As we speak, his lifeless body is still lying in a mortuary yet to be buried. The only offence said to have been committed by him is that he is the elder brother to Dame Patience Jonathan.”

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