The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today Monday, October 29th, moved an application seeking the final forfeiture of the sums of $8, 435, 788.84 and N9.2bn linked to the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.
The application was supported with an affidavit , two exhibits and a written address.
Moving the application before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, the EFCC, through its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to grant its prayers for the final forfeiture of the various sums of money.
Counsel to first respondent , Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN told the court that he had filed a motion and a written address, which he relied on all for the processes filed.
He stated that the EFCC had not invited the first respondent for questioning regarding the alleged money found in her account.
He further submitted that the EFCC had not charged the first respondent to court for trial.
Adedipe, who further stated that the applicant had not shown any reason that could warrant the final forfeture of the money, therefore, urged the court to refuse the application.
Also, counsel to the second respondent, Oyewole Gboyega, SAN, told the court that he had a motion on notice challenging the court’s action and asking for dismissal or striking out of the suit.
He argued that the source of the funds was lawful and legitimate, adding that ” all that the applicant has is mere allegations and suspicious.”
He, therefore, urged the court to refuse application for the final forfeiture of the money.
Counsel to the third , fourth , fifth and sixth respondents, Mike Ozekhome SAN, also told the court that he had filed various applications, adding that the motion by the prosecuting counsel was an abuse of court processeses.
He further stated that the matter was already pending before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
” I wonder why the EFCC rushed down to Lagos to file the same matter. This is an abuse of court processes ,” he added.
He said he had filed an affidavit on the 3rd respondent, seeking the order of court for the applicant to show a video clip inside the court that reveals that the third respondent was legitimately involved.
He , therefore, urged court to grant his prayer not to forfeit the money.
Ige Asemudara, counsel to the seventh respondent told the court he had a motion and prayed the court to set aside the interim furfeture order of April 20, 2018, and to strike out the suit.
He also refuted the claim that the seventh respondent had been at large.
Asemudara also told the court that the money in the account of the seventh respondent was not unclaimed.
After listening to all parties, Justice Olatoregun adjourned till November 13, 2018 for further hearing.
Justice Olatoregun had earlier ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum of $8.435,789.84 million and N9.185, 327, 362 billion linked to the former First Lady. The monies were said to be warehoused in some banks, which include: Skye Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, and Stabic-IBTC and First Bank Plc.
The court had, on April 19, 2018, made an order of interim forfeiture of the monies, following an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC against Jonathan and some companies.
The companies named in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/620/18, are: Globus Integrated Service Limited, Finchley Top Homes Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited, Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited, and Magel Resort Limited.
After granting the order, Justice Olatoregun ordered EFCC to publish the order of interim forfeiture in a national newspaper, so that whosoever has interest in the money should approach the court within 14 days to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.