EFCC: Patience Jonathan asks court to quash push to forfeit $8.4m, N7.3bn

Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience, on Monday asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to strike out an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking the temporary forfeiture of her $8,435,788.84 and N7.35 billion respectively.

She asked the court to grant an order striking out the motion filed on December 13 last year because it lacks jurisdiction to hear it.

Mrs. Jonathan said the motion was “a gross abuse of court process” because the issues were already pending before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

“The ex-parte originating summons filed by the EFCC amounts to forum shopping, thus an abuse of court process,” she said.

Through her lawyers, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), the former first lady said the same application had earlier been filed by the EFCC before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the court’s Lagos division, upon which it had obtained an ex-parte order.

She said the same application was before Justice Nyako “over same parties to be affected by this same application.”

She said EFCC allegedly failed to disclose the different suits and orders made prior to filing the application before Justice Olatoregun in Lagos.

“The respondent is making great mockery of the judicial system and in extension this honourable court,” Mrs. Jonathan said.

In a supporting affidavit, a lawyer in Ozekhome’s chambers, Chimaobi Onuigbo, said EFCC knowing that its application had been challenged in Abuja, filed the one in Lagos.

“The respondent upon knowing that their application had been challenged has come to this court to seek same relief over same accounts and parties that it has filed same application against in all the suits already mentioned,” he said.

The respondents in EFCC’s motion are – Mrs. Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services, Finchley Top Homes Limited, AM PM Global Network Limited, Pagmat Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, Magel Resort Limited and Esther Oba.

Onuigbo said their accounts had been frozen for over one year although they had not been charged with any offence by the EFCC.

 

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