Patience Jonathan Tackles EFCC
Former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan Wednesday urged the Federal High Court in Lagos for time to respond to “weighty” allegations against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, on April 26, 2017, ordered the temporary forfeiture of $5.7million and N2, 421,953,522.78 allegedly belonging to Mrs. Jonathan.
The judge made the order based on an ex-parte application by the EFCC.
The commission said the N2.4billion was found in an Ecobank Nigeria Ltd account numbered 2022000760 in the name of La Wari Furniture and Baths Ltd.
Following the temporary forfeiture, Mrs. Jonathan, through her lawyers Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), appealed.
The Court of Appeal, last January 12, upheld the temporary forfeiture. Dissatisfied, Mrs. Jonathan appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, on March 15, affirmed the Court of Appeal judgment. It directed the appellant to return before Justice Olatoregun to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The Supreme Court also rejected her prayer to strike down the provisions of Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act, which EFCC relied on in securing the forfeiture.
EFCC’s lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo said he received two affidavits from Ozekhome on April 29. One of them, he said, is a counter-affidavit to the motion on notice for final forfeiture; the other is a further affidavit. He said EFCC filed and served its reply to the SAN’s motions on Tuesday.
Responding, Ozekhome said: “We got their affidavit at 5.5pm on Tuesday. A plethora of exhibits were attached. Their affidavit is replete with new facts.
Granting the adjournment, Justice Olatoregun said there must be an end to litigation.. Justice Olatoregun adjourned until May 24.