Patience Jonathan: Court orders final forfeiture of N12 billion to FG

Patience Jonathan: Court orders final forfeiture of N12 billion to FG

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered a final forfeiture of the sum of $8.4 million estimated at N3 billion and N9.2 billion, belonging to Patience Jonathan, wife of former Nigerian leader, Goodluck Jonathan to Nigeria treasury. The landmark judgement by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun who granted the application of the EFCC for the


A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered a final forfeiture of the sum of $8.4 million estimated at N3 billion and N9.2 billion, belonging to Patience Jonathan, wife of former Nigerian leader, Goodluck Jonathan to Nigeria treasury.

The landmark judgement by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun who granted the application of the EFCC for the forfeiture and ruled that the money was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime, marked end of the long battle

Justice Olatoregun granted the application of the EFCC for the forfeiture and ruled that the money was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

The judge held that Mrs Jonathan could not prove that the money was legitimately earned, in what is surely a big triumph for the EFCC.

Joined as co-respondents in the case alongside Patience Jonathan are Globus Integrated Services Ltd; Finchley Top Homes Ltd.; Am-Pm Global Network Ltd; Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd; Magel Resort Ltd; and one Esther Oba.

Olatoregun in her judgement stated that she found no reason in the affidavit filed before the court to show cause why the money found in the various bank accounts should not be be qualified as proceeds of an unlawful activities and same not to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

ALSO READ:  Edo APC primaries: Court orders parties to maintain status quo

$4million each was found in First BanK Plc and Skye Bank Plc(now Polaris Bank) accounts and another $429,000 was also found in Skye Bank account.

The naira components of the seized loot were found in bank accounts in Fidelity Bank, EcoBank, Diamond Bank Plc, Standbic IBTC Plc and Zenith Bank.

EFCC on 29 October, 2018 had sought an order of the court for the final forfeiture of the entire money, six months after it secured an interim forfeiture order from the same court.

EFCC application was filed by its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo.

Dame Patience Jonathan claimed that the source of the funds found in her account were gifts and donations during social events such as Christmas celebrations, Salah, burial of her mother and during the launch of her NGO, Women for Change Development.

She also claimed that she enjoyed tremendous goodwill gifts from dignitaries as wife of Goodluck Jonathan, right from 1999, when he was a deputy governor in Bayelsa, up till the time, he became the president of Nigeria.

Another claim she made was that she inherited some of the money from her late mother..

To further debunk the notion that the funds were not proceeds from unlawful enrichment, Esther Oba, the only sister to Patience and special assistant on household duties in Aso Rock, said some of the funds found in her domiciliary accounts were gotten from her estacode during official trips.

ALSO READ:  Court remands Atiku’s son-in-law, lawyer for money laundering

She also claimed that some of the money were donations from people after she lost her mother and also when she had her first child, after 14years of marriage.

However, Olatoregun said the applicants failed to say precisely where the money came from.

The judge stated that the 2nd respondent also failed to dispel the suspicion that the funds found in Globus Network Ltd were proceeds from unlawful activities.

Justice Olatoregun further, stated that the three witnesses provided by the respondents failed to show proof of source of the money the EFCC urged the court to forfeit as they said they were only in charge of sales.

She said the three witnesses failed to proof that the huge sums were not proceeds from illegal activities.

The court found no evidence to support the volume of income found in the various accounts the EFCC is seeking the court to forfeit.

Also the fact that the Bureaux des change stated that there was no business transaction with the respondents and that they only changed money from naira to dollars is no doubt a reason to support the suspicion that the money emanated from unlawful activities.

Justice Olaturegun held that the overwhelming evidence produced by the EFCC showing that fictitious names were used to lodge money into the accounts and the non-payment of tax also buttressed the fact that the money was a proceed from illegal enrichment.

ALSO READ:  Internet fraudster jailed for 235 years

Justice Olaturegun therefore concluded by saying the respective sums are liable to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The court ruled that the respondents failed to show cause while the sums of N9.2bn and 8.4m USD should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judgement is seen as a huge relief by supporters of the Nigeria’s anti-corruption Czar, president Muhammadu Buhari.

editor
AUTHOR
PROFILE

Posts Carousel

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Latest Posts

Top Authors

Most Commented

Featured Videos

ALSO READ:  Indian govt threatens to repatriate El-zakzaky over misconduct
get_footer(); ?>