Court orders temporary forfeiture of Patience Jonathan’s $5.8 million to Nigerian govt

Patience Jonathan
Patience Jonathan

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered a temporal forfeiture of $5.8 million belonging to a former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to the Federal Government.

The order followed the ex-parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, seeking the forfeiture of the amount to government, pending the determination of the motion on notice.

Moving the ex-parte application, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to grant the order as prayed.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun held: “order is granted as prayed.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the court order came barely 24 hours after the EFCC withdrew an application for stay of prosecution of the court’s earlier ruling, unfreezing Jonathan’s account.

Mrs. Olatoregun had sometimes in November, 2016 granted a forfeiture order of the said sum following an application by the commission.

The court, however, issued another order in March, vacating the earlier one.

The vacation of the order followed an application by Mrs. Jonathan’s counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe, who had challenged the propriety of the EFCC’s action.

In the new motion titled “Action in Rem,” the commission sought an order for interim forfeiture of the said $5.8 million lodged in the Skye Bank.

The commission also sought an order directing the interim forfeiture of N2.4 billion discovered in an EcoBank account in the name of La Wari Furniture and Bath Ltd, suspected to be proceeds of crime.

It further sought for the publication in any national newspaper, of the said order, to enable any interested party to appear and show why the interim order should not be made final.

In an affidavit, the commission averred that it received an intelligence report that funds suspected to be proceeds of crime were warehoused in a Skye Bank account belonging to Mrs. Jonathan.

It said that the report was analysed and found worthy of investigation, adding that the ex- First Lady opened the account on February 7, 2013.

According to the commission, several cash deposits were made by the ex- First Lady in United States Dollars, through Waripamo Dudafa, a former aide to ex- President Goodluck Jonathan.

The commission averred that another frequent depositor of funds into the said account was one Festus Iyoha, a steward in the State House, Abuja.

The EFCC said that between February 8, 2013 and January 30, 2015, about $6.7 million suspected to be proceeds of crime were deposited into the account.

According to the commission, Mrs. Jonathan had dissipated the funds, leaving a balance of about $5.7 million.

The commission further averred that if the fund was not forfeited in the interim, it may be fully dissipated by Jonathan.

It added that N2.03 billion, suspected proceeds of crime, was currently on fixed deposit in the account of La Wari Furniture, in addition to a credit balance of about N389 million.

The commission urged the court to grant the application in the interest of justice.

Granting the order, Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case till May 15, to enable any interested party to appear and show cause why the interim order should not be made final.

(NAN)


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  • communiqué

    Breaking News:
    ……………………

    “I feel sad about
    the way my family is being hounded. Buhari’s style of fighting corruption is
    different from mine and since most Nigerians apparently prefer his style, it is
    okay. There are steps you take that will help in retrieving ill-gotten wealth
    and punish offenders while restoring confidence in the system. But there are
    also things you can do to damage the system.”

    ………….EX-PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN

    • pheliciti

      Can he tell us those step? Including instances we he used the effectively…

    • Curious

      The wise words and advice of Dr Jonathan will mean nothing to a dying man like Buhari. Does he care about not destroying the system? Of course not. A man who is actually 81 (Not the official 76 lie he told us) does not care about whether Nigeria is destroyed or not because he would be long gone. In 10 yrs Buhari will be 90yrs. How many Nigerians alive are 90yrs? Maybe less than 200 people. So u see, the grave danger in allowing a very old senile man to get to presidency is huge and disastrous. France is voting a 39 yr old and even the French president has encouraged the French people to vote the youth. yet he supported a dying old 79yr old for Nigeria’s presidency.

      • Emeka

        Are you sure you would enter next year with others, based on your utterances?

      • Lukman Asifat

        The age bracket of those who stole Nigeria blind under previous administration is between 30 and 60.The results of their looting had manifested across Nigeria land and borders.What you talking about the likes of Ibori,Alam of Bayelsa,Igbinedon and host of others have manifested the greenness of so call youths.

  • Uzoma John

    The only legacy of Jonathan we know him of and being dismantled by PMB is corruption. Supporters of looters were rejoicing that EFCC withdrew case of stay of execution to unfreeze the stolen $5.9m by the Jonathans. I asked them to tarry and within hours, they got another big bang.

    • Emeka

      Uzoma my guy! you are always on track, cheers…

  • Jb

    The anti graft fight is losing steam.

  • factfinder

    So it was actually a judicial game when EFCC withdrew application for stay of proceeding. Nna men…

  • Ohnigeria Godsavenigeria

    Buhari is destroying every thing he can lay hold on Nigeria,let’s watch and see how he and magu will end with this kind of system.
    The same federal high court that vacated the freezing order after hearing from the parties involved, is now turning around to grant another order based on exparte motion .
    One thing is sure, buhari will never be in aso rock for more than 6 more years. What ever a man sow ,that he shall surely reap.

    • tundemash

      Olodo, what is wrong in PMB destroying those who looted your destiny. Can you tell us what product Mrs Jonathan or her mother were selling in her shop to have that $5.8m in the bank. Have you ever seen a $50 in your life ?

      You claimed “The same federal high court that vacated the freezing order after hearing from the parties involved, is now turning around to grant another order based on exparte motion .”.

      Since you know about the law, tell us what law the court has broken in this case and how PMB is responsible for that ?

  • Bright Ezeh

    Where is patience Jonathan shop and how much was her salary, that she and her supporters are not ashamed to be claiming 5 million dollars, it’s only in Nigeria this kind of thing can happen and she is not in jail