BY AHURAKA ISAH AND SOLOMON AYADO, Abuja
Despite assurances and pledges Senate had made in the past to support the ongoing fight against corruption in the country, senate committee investigating the petitions against the freezing of the accounts of the former first lady, Patience Jonathan has directed that they should be unfreeze.
The Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions committee after subjecting the management of four different banks where the first lady had accounts, directed that those accounts not encumbered by any legal process be reopened.
Committee chairman, Senator Sam Anyanwu stated that some of the accounts were frozen based on some administrative lapses.
He said the accounts with the banks which were frozen with court order and in which such order has been vacated by other courts, must be re-opened, the committee insisted.
The committee members were particularly displeased with what they called arbitrary manner in which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) used the banks to close the accounts without complying with due process of law.
After listening to the committee, bank executives present informed the committee that the court order vacating the earlier ones relied upon by the EFCC to close the accounts was not made available to them.
Accordingly they promised to re-open those accounts having been made known of the vacation order.
The committee expressed shock that the banks could rely on ordinary letter by the EFCC anticipating a favourable ruling to freeze customers’ account.
The Senate on Monday, December 14, 2016 pledged its support for the ongoing fight against corruption in Nigeria. Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Chukwuka Utazi made the pledge when the committee received the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.