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Monday, 1 July 2019

Court Orders Forfeiture of Patience Jonathan’s N9.2bn, $8.4m

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the permanent forfeiture of the sums of N9.2bn and $8.4m recovered from wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered that the funds should be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judgment followed an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which said the funds were proceeds of crime.

Though Patience, through her lawyers, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), opposed the application and insisted that the funds were legitimately her own, the judge held that she had “no doubts, at all, that these monies are proceeds of unlawful activities.”

Justice Olatoregun said the respondents “failed to dispel the suspicion created by the movement of the monies within the meaning and contemplation of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act, coupled with the various extrajudicial statements of the Bureau De Change agents which were not controverted by the respondents.”

“In all of this, taking into consideration the overwhelming evidence provided by the applicant, the mode, the circumstances and the manner involved, using fictitious names, etcetera, to lodge monies in her name by named and unnamed individuals and BDCs, I cannot come to a conclusion by any sense of responsibility that these monies are proceeds of lawful activities within the meaning and contemplation of of the provisions of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act 2006; the Money Laundering Act 2004 and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2004 and other laws enforceable under the EFCC Act 2004.”

The judge said the respondents “failed to show cause why the monies should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Apart from Patience, other respondents in the application taken before the judge by the EFCC were Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd, Magel Resort Ltd and Esther Oba.

Punch

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