Former First Lady Patience Jonathan was stranded yesterday following a botched attempt to cash part of her $5.8m deposit, which was unfrozen by a court last week.
Mrs. Jonathan was blocked from having access to her account by astay of execution of the court’s order which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) obtained.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court in Lagos last Thursday issued an order unfreezing Mrs Jonathan’s $5.8million in the Skye Bank.
The EFCC in November 2016 asked the court for an order freezing the account because it was suspected to harbour proceeds of crime.
The judge obliged in December, 2016.
Also affected by the said order were the accounts of five companies holding N7.4 billion and the account of Esther Oba holding $429,381.87.
The ex-First Lady went to Maitama branch of Skye Bank to withdraw from her account. But she was denied access because of a pending appeal by the EFCC and an application for a stay of execution, The Nation learnt.
A source in the bank said: “The former First Lady came to our branch to collect cash from her unfrozen account but we could not honour her.
“She came at about 11am and left some minutes after 4pm. She had audience with an Executive Director of our bank.
“Her entry created a scene because she said the cash was her entitlement but we insisted that the account was still in dispute because of a pending appeal.
“There is still an application for a stay of execution. We do not want to engage in an act of subjudice.
A source in EFCC said: “We received intelligence report that the ex-First Lady went to Skye Bank Plc to access her account but the bank disallowed her because of a pending appeal.
“We are determined to pursue this matter to a logical conclusion. Our position is that the account should remain frozen in line with our mandate.
“Considering our findings, we can safely conclude that a prima facie case of conspiracy to retain proceeds of unlawful activities, retention of the proceeds of unlawful activities, money laundering, contrary to Section 15(3) and 18(a) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and forgery, contrary to Section 1(2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004 have been established against the ex-First Lady and others.”