The management of Skye Bank on Wednesday said that former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan would not be allowed to have access to a dime in her deep account containing $5.8million until the lawsuit seeking its forfeiture is fully determined.
The bank’s clarification came on a day the Presidency disassociated itself from any difficulty Patience might be experiencing in accessing her account.
The bank said that though it was aware that a Federal high court which initially embargoed the account from being operated on the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had lifted its order, yet, it argued Wednesday that the EFCC had not only appealed the ruling of the high court but had also obtained an order stopping execution of the ruling of the court which lifted its interim order of forfeiture of the sum.
The bank’s Head of Corporate Communication, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa had offered the explanation in a chat.
Bar and Bench Watch reports that a Federal high court had on April 6 lifted the restrictions on the former First Lady’s account.
Consequently, Mrs. Jonathan had on Monday visited the Maitama Branch of Skye Bank in Abuja, seeking to withdraw from her account as Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose did when similar order on his account was lifted.
But bank officials declined to initiate any transaction for Mrs. Jonathan, despite spending time in the bank’s premises.
According to the bank’s image maker, Bolarinwa said the bank had received a stay of execution order by the anti-graft agency prior to Mrs. Jonathan’s visit to the bank.
Mr. Bolarinwa confirmed that the bank was also notified of an appeal by the EFCC against the court order.
The EFCC had itself in a separate enquiry Wednesday morning that it had appealed the order and also asked for a stay of execution of the judgement.
“We have appealed the order,” Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesperson, said in a telephone interview.
The EFCC had in November 2016 filed an application before the court, seeking an order to unfreeze the account.
The commission had contended that the funds were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime. The court granted the order but reversed it last Thursday on the grounds that she was not a party to the suit leading to the freezing order.