The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, has yesterday created another friction with the presidency, as it ordered banks to unfreeze accounts belonging to former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan.
When matter came up at the resumed investigative hearing by the committee on the petition by Jonathan’s wife, over alleged harassments by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other government agencies, the committee said the freezing was carried out without specific restriction orders from any competent court of law.
While appearing before the committee, the representative of Granville Abibo (SAN) & Co law firm, Mr Ayodeji Adedipe, told the committee that the banks, including Ecobank, Union Bank, First Bank, Diamond and Fidelity Bank froze accounts belonging to Mrs Jonathan, her NGO and even some belonging to her relatives, based on just letters from EFCC and not court orders as should be the case.
Similarly, Adedipe informed the committee that Mrs Jonathan’s personal salary account with Ecobank was also frozen.
The Chairman of the committee, Hon Uzoma Nkem-Abonta delivering his ruling said, “We are not siding anybody, but the committee hereby direct all the banks concerned to defreeze all the accounts that have no specific restraining order from any court, or the EFCC.”
It remains to be seen how the EFCC will respond to what appear to be setback in its fight against corruption.