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Senate panel invites seven banks’ MDs over freezing of Patience Jonathan’s accounts

THE Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions has summoned the managing directors of some banks over the freezing of the accounts of former First Lady Patience Jonathan.


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


The committee’s chairman, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, gave the order at a sitting of his committee yesterday at the hearing of a petition by the former first lady.


The petition brought on behalf of Mrs. Jonathan by Granville Abibo (SAN) claimed that the EFCC and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had at various times “unleashed terror, dehumanising, 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 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 (NGO), The Women for Change Development Initiative, A. Aruera Foundation as well as Finchley Top Homes Ltd and the former first lady’s salary account were frozen, according to the petitioner.


“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 reads.


The EFCC chairman was absent at the hearing.


In a letter sent to the committee, the anti-graft agency said Magu was out of the country and would be back today.


The committee set tomorrow for the EFCC boss to appear before the committee.


Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer also informed the committee that his client had resolved her differences with the NDLEA, hence they would like to strike out the agency’s name off the petition before the Senate.


He also old 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, who is Mrs. Jonathan’s brother.


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 was the elder brother to Dame Patience Jonathan.”





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