N200m Suit: Patience Jonathan VS Sky Bank, Matter Ajdourned Till Nov 2

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed November 2nd, 2017 for hearing in the N200m fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Patience Jonathan, wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, against Skye Bank Plc.

Also joined as defendants in the suit are a former Special Adviser to Ex-President Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa; and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Four firms linked to Dudafa were also joined as defendants in the suit.

They 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.

Patience filed the suit to protest against the ‘No Debit Order’ placed by the EFCC on the bank accounts of the four companies domiciled in Skye Bank.

The four companies were said to have a total of $15.5m in their bank accounts, which the EFCC had since last year July frozen.

The EFCC froze the accounts while investigating Dudafa for money laundering.

But Patience claims that the funds in the companies’ accounts belonged to her though she was not a signatory to any of the accounts.

In an affidavit filed in support of the suit, one Sammie Somiari explained that Patience had asked Dudafa to help her open five bank accounts only for Dudafa to open one in Patience’s name and four others in the names of companies linked to him.

According to Somiari, Dudafa had on March 22, 2010 brought two Skye Bank officers, Demola Bolodeoku and Dipo Oshodi, to meet Patience at home to open five accounts.

He, however, claimed that after the five accounts were opened, Patience 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, “The applicant (Patience) complained about this to Honourable Dudafa, who, at his 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 purported to have effected the changes. This was about April 2014.

“The applicant is not a director, shareholder or participant in the companies named in the aforementioned four accounts.

“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 of the applicant.

“Besides, the ATM credit cards bearing the said companies’ names were brought to the applicant by Mr. Dipo Oshodi of the 2nd respondent bank, 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, the applicant 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 applicant 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 the suit filed before Justice Mohammed Idris, Patience, through his lawyer, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), is seeking N200m damages against Skye Bank for denying her access to the $15.5m in the four accounts.

She also wants the court to lift the ‘No Debit Order’ placed on the accounts by the EFCC.

 

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