A federal Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos state has today ordered an interim forfeiture of the sum of $5.8 million and N2.4 billion allegedly traced to the accounts of Patience Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
It would be recalled that Mojisola Olatoregun, a judge of the federal high court had in April of 2017, issued an order of interim forfeiture on the said amounts which was allegedly linked to Jonathan’s Skye Bank Plc and Eco Bank Plc accounts.
The court order came following an ex parte motion filed by Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which hindered Jonathan’s access to both accounts.
The hearing was moved to September and later deferred to November 2017.
Musbahu Abubakar, an EFCC official, had told the court that the former first lady opened the Skye Bank account on February 7, 2013.
Abubakar had also told Olatoregun that she made several cash deposits in dollars into the account through Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, a former special assistant to the ex-president. Jonathan, and Festus Iyoha, a state house steward.
Olatoregun approved the motion of the EFCC and directed Jonathan to explain why the money in question should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government.
However, her lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome, and I.A. Adedipe, approached the appellate court to set aside the order of the lower court.
Jonathan’s lawyers also urged appeal court to declare as unconstitutional the provisions of Sections 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.
Mojeed Owoade, a justice of the appeal court, upheld the constitutionality of section 17 and ordered the interim forfeiture of the various sums of money belonging to Jonathan to the federal government.