A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday fixed May 22 for further mention of a suit filed by former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, challenging a “No Debit Order” placed on her bank accounts.
Patience had filed the suit in 2016 to challenge the order placed on four Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank Ltd) accounts harbouring a total of $9.8m.
Joined as defendants in the suit are: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Polaris Bank Ltd, Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd, and Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd.
The plaintiff is seeking a declaration that she is the owner of the funds in the accounts opened in the names of the third, fourth and fifth defendants, and so, entitled to access to the funds for her use and benefit.
When the case was called on Wednesday, before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) announced appearance for the Plaintiff.
On the other hand, Messrs Mohammed Idris, Abayomi Arole, and Chimaobi Onuigbo announced appearances for the second, third and fourth defendants respectively.
There was no representation for the fifth defendant.
Adedipe then informed the court that the case which was first before his brother judge, Justice Mohammed Idris (who has been elevated to the Court of Appeal) was for mention.
He said that the matter was coming up before Aneke for the first time, and will be commencing afresh.
According to him, the plaintiff had to amend her statement of claim to correctly reflect the name of Skye bank as now Polaris Bank, adding that the change in nomenclature necessitated the amendment.
Other counsel confirmed the position to the court, adding that their respective amended processes will also be filed and served.
Consequently, Justice Aneke adjourned the case until May 22, for further mention.
Jonathan is seeking an order, restraining the EFCC or any other person, from preventing the plaintiff access to the said funds contained in the third to fifth defendant's account with Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank)
Plaintiff is also seeking an order, discharging the “No Debit’Freezing Order” placed on the accounts of the third to fifth defendants.
She seeks an order, directing Polaris Bank to release forthwith, the sum of 9.8 million dollars standing to the credit of the plaintiff, as at March 29, 2016, or any such other funds in the account.
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