The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has been summoned to appear before the Senate to defend the role played by the anti-graft agency in the freezing of seven bank accounts of former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
This order was handed on Monday by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which also summoned Managing Directors of Stanbic-IBTC, Diamond, Skye banks and four others to appear before it for the same reason.
In the petition brought to the Senate Committee on behalf of Mrs. Jonathan by Granville Abibo SAN, the former First Lady complained that the 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 committee was told that the accounts in which the former first lady’s funds are trapped include that of Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Seagate Property Development Investment Company and Transocean Property and Investment Ltd.
According to the petitioner, the account of her non-governmental organisation, NGO, the Women for Change Development Initiative, A. Aruera Foundation as well as Finchley Top Homes Ltd and the former first lady’s salary account were also frozen.
“The accounts of her siblings, Innocent Nyegerefaka, Mohammed Oba and Esther Oba have all been frozen by EFCC without any court order – all because they are blood relations of Dame Patience Jonathan,” the petition reads.
Meanwhile, Magu was absent at the hearing. In a letter to the committee, the EFCC explained that Magu was out of the country, and could, therefore, not attend the meeting, adding that he would be returning Tuesday.
The committee consequently fixed Wednesday for Magu to appear before the Senator Samuel Anyanwu-led committee.
Patience Jonathan’s counsel however told the Senate Committee that they had resolved their differences with NDLEA, and would like to strike the agency’s name off the petition before the Senate.
But speaking before the committee, a lawyer, Charles Ogboli, said the former first lady’s accounts and that of her relatives were frozen by the EFCC without any court order, adding that this led to the death of Mrs. Jonathan’s brother, Lazarus Eware.