The Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed an application seeking to unfreeze a Unity Bank account with a balance of N1,902,673,399.93 belonging to Hajiya Bola Shagaya. Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, in a judgment on Thursday, threw out Shagaya’s application, declaring that it lacked merit. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had, on December 29, 2016 obtained an interim order to freeze the account.
The anti-graft agency had then told the court that the N1.9bn was the balance of a total of N3,305,150,000, which Shagaya received as “founder fees” on behalf of an organisation, Women for Change, being spearheaded by a former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan. Justice Muslim Hassan, who granted the order, had said the account would remain frozen pending investigation by the EFCC.
Shagaya, through her lawyer, Mr. Napoleon Emeaso-Nwachukwu, however, approached Justice Oguntoyinbo, seeking too unfreeze the account. Emeaso-Nwachukwu contended that his client was not given fair hearing before the account was frozen. He contended that the freezing order violated Shagaya’s right to own movable property under Section 44(1)(k) of the I999 Constitution of Nigeria.