Court sets date for suit on forfeiture of funds linked to Patience Jonathan

Mrs. Patience Jonathan

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday adjourned until March 20 hearing of an application seeking forfeiture of funds linked to wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had begun fresh moves to seize funds in 15 bank accounts, including 6.4 million dollars and N7.4 billion linked to Patience.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, Mr G. Abibo (SAN) announced appearance for the respondent (Patience), while Mr Nnaemeka Omewa, announced appearance for the EFCC.

Omewa informed the court of its ex-parte application dated Dec. 13, 2017, and added that he had also filed a counter affidavit.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun adjourned the case until March 20 for hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had approached the court, seeking to move an ex-parte application for a temporary forfeiture of the funds.

The move was, however, interrupted by Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), who challenged the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the ex-parte application.

He told the court that the funds on which the EFCC sought forfeiture order were already a subject of a pending litigation.

Meanwhile, Counsel to the EFCC (Oyedepo), maintained that Adedipe had no right of audience in court since his application was ex parte (without notice to other parties).

He argued that he wondered how Adedipe got wind of the application by the anti-graft agency in the first place, and urged the court to disregard his appearance.

The court upheld Oyedepo’s submission, but directed the EFCC to file an affidavit to convince the court that there were no pending suits in relation to the same subject matter before any other court.

In the ex parte application, the EFCC listed Patience Jonathan and Esther Oba as respondents.

Also listed as defendants are Globus Integrated Services Ltd., Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd., Pagmat Oil And Gas Ltd. and Magel Resort Ltd.

The ex parte application is supported by a 15-paragraph affidavit deposed to by an investigator with the EFCC, Huleji Tukura.