Federal High Court sitting in Lagos and presided by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun will on Monday, 11th February, 2019, deliver judgement in a motion for final forfieture of $153m (One Hundred and Fifty Three Million Dollars) linked to former first lady Dame Patience Jonathan by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The $153m (One Hundred and Fifty Three Million Dollars) is just one of the several forfeiture orders against the former first lady. The EFCC, through its Prosecution Lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, had in June 2017, approached the court and sought for an exparte order for interim forfeiture under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act, Section 34 of EFCC Act and other related offences Act.
The Judge granted the application and directed the EFCC to advertise the order on two National Dailies so that any interested parties can proof the legitimacy of the funds. It was consequent on the publication that counsels to the former first lady, Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, and Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, filed and argued that there was no complainant of loss of money to EFCC and that Patience Jonathan is not a public office holder during the four year tenure of her husband, they therefore urged the court to set aside the interim order of forfieture earlier made.
However Oyedepo in his response, urged the court to order final forfieture of $1153m to the federal government of Nigeria as he described the money as a proceed of an unlawful activities lundered under some fictitious companies. He further agued that the person claiming ownership of these illicit funds must show to the court her interest, her name was not among the director of the companies used to launder these funds neither her name appeared in the mandate card of the company’s accounts.
He then prayed the court to order the final forfieture of the funds The Judge, after listening to arguments from bith sides had adjourned the case to Monday, February 11, 2019 for judgement.