Appeal Court judge withdraws from Patience Jonathan’s $5.7 million forfeiture suit

Patience Jonathan
Patience Jonathan

The suit seeking to stop the forfeiture of $5.7 million and N2.4 billion to the federal government by Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was on Wednesday stalled at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division.

The case was stalled because one of the three-member panel of the appellate court was recusing himself from hearing the appeal for personal reasons.

Justice John Ikyeh, who presided over the appeal alongside Justices Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo and Abrahim Georgewill, noted that three judges were required to form a quorum.

He, however, did not say which of the justices was withdrawing from hearing the case.

Ikyeh said: “One of us is going to recuse himself from this case for personal reasons, so we are not complete. Two of us cannot make a quorum.”

The counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to consider hearing the appeal preferably during the court’s vacation.

Mr. Oyedepo said: “If we can be accommodated during vacation. Our challenge is that the trial court has stayed proceedings over the subject matter of this suit.”

But the court observed that because it had not formed a quorum, it could not grant his request.

Mr. Ikyeh said: “we can’t write anything because we are not complete. One of us is recusing from this appeal.

“The suit is hereby adjourned till September 18, first week after vacation.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mrs. Jonathan’s appeal arose from an order obtained by the EFCC on April 26 from the Federal High Court in Lagos, temporarily forfeiting the money to the government.

The commission told Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, who made the order, that the funds were suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

The commission had also said that Mrs. Jonathan had earlier spent about N296 million from the money.

It said she also withdrew another $100,000 from the account in April, leaving a balance of $5.7 million.

Mr. Olatoregun also ordered the temporary forfeiture of the N2.4 billion found in an Ecobank account, bearing the name, La Wari Furniture and Baths Ltd.

The commission said the money also belonged to Mrs. Jonathan.

Mr. Olatoregun had on May 22, suspended proceedings in the hearing of the EFCC’s application, seeking permanent forfeiture of the money, pending the appellate court’s decision on the interim order.

She granted the applications of Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe, and that of the counsel for La Wari Furniture and Baths, Mike Ozekhome, for a stay of proceedings, pending the determination of the appeal.

(NAN)


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  • Tommy Soto

    “The suit is hereby adjourned till September 18, first week after vacation.”

    That’s quite a generous allotment of vacation time. Add in other blocks of judiciary vacation time throughout the year and one can deduce that this is one of the major reasons development is hampered. Cases have to be solved and capital/money has to flow to correct sources like infrastructure and worker salaries.

  • Rommel

    I heard lady justice has her eyes blindfolded so she can dispense justice dispassionately, how come in Nigeria, her eyes are wide open? Nigeria possibly has the most corrupt judiciary in the entire world

    • absam777

      In Nigeria the judiciary play on technicalities for money and not for dispensation of justice. I bet the judge has been given some money or promised one to scuttle the case. so that the stay of proceeding can continue. This is a new one.

  • Frank Bassey

    Wide goose chase. The Judge must have seen the evil in a Judicial officer of that status to compromise his/her conscience. EFCC is evil so long as it believes that corruption exists only in the camp of the opposition and critics of PMB’s ignoble, clueless administration

  • PolyGon2013

    DearisGoduo.

  • ijelejames

    This woman is still pursuing money. Na only her waka come.