Chief Mike Ozhekome, appearing in the legal battle between former first lady Patience Jonathan and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said on Monday that as the fictitious companies recently convicted by Justice Babs Kuewumi have not done any profitable business, the money in their accounts belongs to Mrs. Jonathan.
Speaking to journalists at the premises of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, Ozhekome, whose own account has been frozen by the anti-graft body in a separate case, characterized the matter as a “resulting trust”, as the accounts of Mrs. Jonathan were only added in the name of the companies.
He explained a resulting trust to be money saved in a company’s account but which does not belong to the company, adding that it is the law to allow the “owner” have their money back.
“The accounts of Patience Jonathan were opened in the names of the companies but never did any profitable business to earn that kind of money. This money belongs to Patience Jonathan. We call it a resulting trust.”
The senior advocate, who represented Pluto Property and Investment Company LTD, and Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. LTD, said only Mrs. Jonathan has the opening documents of the accounts, although it is unclear how she came by such a vast sum of money in the first place.
“She has the card. She at all material times operated the accounts. The companies never operated it,” Ozhekome said.
He alleged that EFCC acted unconstitutionally to have frozen the companies’ accounts.
An affidavit deposed to by Amajuoyi Azibike Briggs, a lawyer who registered the companies and doubles as the companies’ secretary, also claimed that the company only held the frozen money for Mrs. Jonathan.
In November 2016, the court declared Pluto Property and Investment Company LTD, Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. LTD, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited, and Avalon Global Property Development Company LTD guilty following the guilty plea of their purported directors.
At the resumed hearing before Justice Mohammed Idris of the same court, where Mrs. Jonathan has sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for wrongfully freezing her accounts, Ozhekome sought to serve a fresh application of the anti-graft agency but the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, refused to accept the application.
Mr. Oyedepo said the agency has a channel through which it accepts court processes and he could not accept the application on behave of the commission.
Justice Idris adjourned the matter to April 6, for the defendant to serve the application on the prosecution, and the commencement of hearing on all pending applications.