Fri. Dec 6th, 2019

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UPDATED: EFCC reels out Patience Jonathan’s forfeited funds

5 min read

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Monday, July 1, 2019, ordered the final forfeiture of the sums of $8,435,788.84 (Eight Million Four Hundred and Thirty Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Eight Dollars Eighty Four Cents) and N9.1billion (Nine Billion One Hundred and Eighty Five Million Three Hundred and twenty Four Thousand Three Hundred and twenty Five Naira Fifty Three Kobo) only traced to the wife of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.

Patience JonathanThe court had on April 19, 2018, made an order of interim forfeiture of the various sums of money, following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, 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.

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The funds were warehoused in some banks, including Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank Plc), Diamond Bank Plc, Stabic-IBTC and First Bank Plc.

In granting the interim forfeiture order, Justice Olatoregun had ordered the EFCC to publish the order in a national newspaper for the respondent or anyone interested in the money to show cause, within 14 days, why it should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Following the publication of the interim forfeiture order, the EFCC, through its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had, on October 29, 2018, moved a motion for the final forfeiture of the sums of money to the Federal Government.

Dissatisfied with the ruling of the trial court, the first respondent, Jonathan, through her lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, had approached the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, seeking an order to set aside the interim forfeiture order of April 19, 2018 granted to the EFCC by Justice Olatoregun.

Her appeal, however, was subsequently dismissed by the Court of Appeal in Lagos.

In an attempt to claim ownership of the money, the first respondent also approached the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the appellate court.

However, the apex court, on March 8, 2019, upheld the interim forfeiture of the funds.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad, in a unanimous decision, refused to set aside the order of temporary forfeiture of the sums of money issued by the trial court.

The apex court held that the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, was right to have affirmed the forfeiture order.

Delivering judgment today, Justice Olatoregun held that the money was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

The Judge also held that: “There is no reason provided in the affidavit to convince the court or to show cause why the monies should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“There is no evidence to reasonably show, beyond doubts, that the monies were legitimately earned.”

Justice Olatoregun, therefore, granted the EFCC’s application that the money should be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

Details of the monies traced to, recovered and forfeited to the federal government by Mrs Patience Jonathan by the EFCC include:

The sum of $3,645,013.73 (Three Million, Six Hundred and Forty Five Thousand, Thirteen United States Dollar, Seventy Three Cent) found by the Commission in account No.2031277178 domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria Ltd.

The sum of $4,361,393.24 (Four Million, Three Hundred and Sixty One Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety Three United States Dollar, Twenty Four Cent) found by the Commission in account No.1771421299 domiciled with Skye Bank Plc.

The sum of N1,800,494,000.00 (One Billion, Eight Hundred Million, Four Hundred and Ninety Four Thousand Naira) found by the Commission in account No.4011019539 domiciled with Fidelity Bank Plc.

The sum of N226,376,700.23 (Two Hundred and Twenty Six Million, Three Hundred and Seventy Six Thousand, Seven Hundred Naira, Twenty Three Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.1102001996 domiciled with Eco Bank Ltd.

The sum of N1,085,576,947.99 (One Billion, Eight Five Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty Seven Naira, Ninety Nine Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.1102001996 domiciled with Eco Bank Ltd

The sum of N39,418,712.12 (Thirty Nine Million, Four Hundred and Eighteen Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twelve Naira, Twelve Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.0019213687 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc.

The sum of N7,213,303.50 (Seven Million, Two Hundred and Thirteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Three Naira, Fifty Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.0026718889 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc.

The sum of N55,930,024.50 (Fifty Five Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Twenty Four Naira, Fifty Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.0026838491 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc

The sum of N174,166,207.06 (One and Seventy Four Million, One Hundred and Sixty Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Seven Naira, Six Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.0024351590 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc.

The sum of N858,923,982.55 (Eight Hundred and Fifty Eight Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty Two Naira, Fifty Five Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.1011744356 domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc

The sum of N1,809,666,494.68 (One Billion, Eight Hundred and Nine Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Six Thousand, Four Hundred and Ninety Four Naira, Sixty Eight Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.4011019560 domiciled with Fidelity Bank Plc

The sum of N1,000,494,000.00 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety Four Thousand Naira) found by the Commission in account No.4011019546 domiciled with Fidelity Bank Plc.

The sum of N317,397,458.26 (Three Hundred and Seventeen Million, Three Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty Eight Naira, Twenty Six Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.0016971559 domiciled with Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc.

The sum of N1,809,666,494.68 (One Billion, Eight Hundred and Nine Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Six Thousand, Four Hundred and Ninety Four Naira, Sixty Eight Kobo) found by the Commission in account No.4011019577 domiciled with Fidelity Bank Plc

The sum of $429,381.87 (Four Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty One United State Dollars, Eighty Seven Cent) found by the Commission in account No.2110003170 domiciled with Skye Bank Plc.

The judge according to the statement obtained from the official facebook handle of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, also directed that the humongous funds should be forfeited to the Federal Government on the grounds that they were proceeds of crimes while Mrs Jonathan and the firms could not legitimately account for the ownership of the funds.

The forfeited funds simplified as:

$3.65million

$4.7million

N1.81billion

N226.38million

N1.09billion

N39.42million

N7.22million

N55.94million

N174.17million

N858.93million

N1.81billion

N1.1billion

N317.40million

N1.90billion

$429.39million

Source

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