Court refuses to make permanent forfeiture order on Patience Jonathan’s $8.4m, N7.4b

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Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed an application from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC to order the final forfeiture of $8.4 million and N7.4 billion linked to former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.

The judge had in April 2018 ordered the temporary forfeiture of the funds which EFCC said were suspected to be proceeds of crime. Mrs Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Ltd, Am-Pm Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd and Magel Resort Ltd and Esther Oba, all companies linked to her, had indicated at the time that the sum of money been investigated were donations she received from good citizens who loved her and wanted to bless her.

Among the temporarily forfeited sums are N1.085billion and N226.3million found in Finchley’s Ecobank account and N39.4million found in its Diamond Bank account, as well as N55.9million found in Pagmat Oil and Gas’ Diamond Bank account, among others.

Justice Olatoregun today said all the parties in the suit must give oral evidence to justify the money’s source and ownership.

“I have stated here that the right of parties in this suit cannot be determined by affidavit evidence. Oral testimonies are to be called with cross extermination. I hereby order parties to call upon their witnesses so that the right of parties can be determined one way or the other,” the judge ruled.