The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has asked banks to ignore the demand by the House of Representatives’ panel to unfreeze accounts of former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, in six banks.
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, had on Tuesday ordered banks to unfreeze accounts belonging to former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan.
According to them, the freezing was carried out without no specific restriction orders from any competent court of law.
The affected banks were: Union Bank, First Bank, EcoBank, Diamond Bank, Fidelity Bank and Skye Bank.
Sagay while reacting, said the House lacked the legal right to order a bank to unfreeze an account which was frozen by a court or by the EFCC.
The senior advocate said, “The House of Representatives is acting totally outside of its functions and constitutional rights. It is trying to take over a court. Only a court higher than the High Court which froze the accounts can say they should be unfrozen.
“It seems the legislature, which has been trying to carry out executive functions, is now trying to hijack judicial functions. I think the House is trying to ridicule Nigerian democracy and I thought they were the more thoughtful arm of the National Assembly.”
He added that the EFCC had the power to temporarily freeze an account pending a substantive court order.
“The EFCC has the power to temporarily freeze an account and then obtain a court order. Normally what the EFCC does is to flag such accounts and then get a court order and I am sure they are in the process of that.
“So, I think we should just ignore the vituperations of the House of Representatives which seems to have lost sense of its true functions and is now delving into a judicial work,” he said.