The Senate committee on Monday summoned the Managing Directors of seven banks over the freezing of the accounts of former 1st Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
The banks, Zenith Bank , First Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity, Stanbic- IBTC , Diamond and Skye Banks were summoned by the Senate committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions headed by Senator Sam Anyanwu at the hearing of a petition by the former First Lady.
In the petition brought on behalf of Mrs. Jonathan by Granville Abibo (SAN) she had complained that both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA have at different times ” unleashed terror, dehumanizing, degrading and despicable treatment,” on herself “and her blood relations without justification.
The accounts in question in which the former first lady’s funds are trapped include that of companies 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, The Women for Change Development Initiative and A.Aruera Foundation as well as Finchley Top Homes Ltd and the former Fist lady’s salary account were frozen the Senators were told.
“The accounts of her siblings, Innocent Nyegerefaka, Mohammed Oba and Esther Oba have all been frozen by EFCC without an court order, all because they are blood relations of Dame Patience Jonathan,” the petition further reads.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Sam Anyanwu who issued the summon insisted that the Managing Directors must appear in person as no representative would be accepted.
But Acting Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu was however absent from the hearing. In a letter sent to the committee,,the agency said Magi was out of the country and would be returning today ( Tuesday). The committee therefore set Wednesday, 11th of October for Magu’s appearance.
This is as Patience Jonathan’s counsel informed the committee that they have resolved their differences with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and hence would like to strike their name off the petition before the Senate.
But the counsel to Patience Jonathan, Charles Ogboli while speaking before the committee said that the former first lady’s accounts and that of her relatives were frozen without any court order by the EFCC, adding that this culminated in the death of Lazarus Eware brother to Mrs. Jonathan.
He said: ” the immediate elder brother to Patience Jonathan, Mr. Lazarus Eware died as a result of unfortunate maltreatment of him by Economists mic and Financial Crimes Commission as he could no longer cope in the face of this repeated humiliation terror attack 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 is still lying in A mortuary yet to be buried. The only offence said to have been committed by him is that he is the elder brother to Dame Patience Jonathan.”