Court papers show former Nigerian first lady Patience Jonathan is claiming ownership of bank accounts allegedly worth $31.5 million that have been frozen in a corruption investigation.

The wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan has filed suit asking the Federal High Court to unfreeze five accounts at Skye Bank that were frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in July.

But Nigerian media are quoting unidentified commission officers as saying all but one of the accounts were not in her name but were set up in the names of domestic workers employed by one of her lawyers.

The lawyer, a senior aide to the former president and a bank official are among people named in the corruption case.

The commission's spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.