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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

PATIENCE JONATHAN WITHDRAWS CASH FROM UNBLOCKED ACCOUNT



Former First Lady Patience Jonathan leaves a Skye Bank branch in Maitama, Abuja after withdrawing money yesterday.


Former First Lady Patience Jonathan yesterday waited for hours at a bank in Abuja until she was allowed to withdraw money from a domiciliary account.

A Lagos court blocked the account in December on the request of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the EFCC, on suspicion the money it holds - $5.9 million – was proceed of crime.

However, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun Thursday lifted the temporary forfeiture order as a result of which the former first lady showed up at the Skye Bank PLC, Maitama, Abuja where she operates the account.

She demanded to withdrawal “huge amount of money,” said a source who wouldn’t want to be named.

However, the source said she was told by the bank officials that such amount was not available at the branch.

The former first lady insisted on being paid or else she would not leave the bank, the source said.

Another source, however, said she stayed for too long in the bank because  she was confronted with fresh court documents demanding a stay of execution.

A report by the News Agency of Nigeria yesterday said the EFCC had procured a stay-of-execution of the judgement and also simultaneously filed an appeal.

Unconfirmed reports said that she wanted to withdraw as much as $1 million on Friday, but was given $100,000 by the bank.

She returned at 10:00 a.m. yesterday and had a closed-door meeting with an Executive Director of the bank.

She finally left the bank at 4:05 p.m. but declined to speak to newsmen who sought to know why she was there.

One of her aides, who declined to disclose his name, told newsmen that “everything was okay”.

Speaking with Daily Trust, Mrs Jonathan’s solicitor, Charles Ogboli, declined to give details of the withdrawal but confirmed that the bank has fully complied with the order of the court.

“We visited the bank as the order of court was given and the order of the court has been obeyed to the letter,” he said.

On why it took several hours to conclude the transaction, the lawyer said there was no hiccups whatsoever, describing it as “normal protocol of transaction.”

It was gathered that the former First Lady arrived the bank around 10 am in the morning in company of several aides and mobile security operatives. and departed at closing time by 4pm.

Attempts by reporters to get Mrs Jonathan’s view, was frustrated by the security operatives, who smashed an expensive camera belonging to a Daily Trust photo journalist, Ikechukwu Ibeh.
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