Senators yesterday directed two commercial banks to unfreeze some accounts belonging to companies linked to former First Lady Patience Jonathan.
The accounts, domiciled with Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC and others, were said to have been frozen on the orders of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The senators, at a hearing by the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, declared that the accounts in question were not encumbered by any legal processes and as such be unfrozen without delay.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, observed that some of the accounts were frozen based on certain administrative lapses.
The lawmakers described the methods used in freezing the accounts as arbitrary, insisting that the EFCC failed to comply with due process in closing the accounts.
Officials of the banks who appeared before the Senate panel however said the court order vacating the freezing of the said accounts had not been received by them.
They however promised to reopen the accounts, based on the information made available by the senators.
The committee members expressed worry that the banks could freeze accounts based on letters received from the EFCC without valid court orders.
Also yesterday, the Federal High Court in Lagos was told how a former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Gooluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs Dr Waripamo-Owei Dudafa allegedly laundered about N5.1billion for the former president’s wife.
The EFCC arraigned Dudafa and Iwejuo Joseph Nna (alias Taiwo A. Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah) before Justice Mohammed Idris on 23-counts of conspiracy and concealment of crime proceeds.
They are on trial for alleged conspiracy to conceal proceeds of crime amounting to over N1.6billion on June 11, 2013, among others.
Justice Idris adjourned till October 24 for hearing of the application to travel.
Trial will continue on November 14 and 15.