Supreme Court affirms interim forfeiture of Patience Jonathan’s $8.4m

The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed an order of interim forfeiture made by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court in respect of the sum of $8.4m linked to the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

The five-man panel of the apex court headed by Justice Dattijo Muhammad, in a unanimous judgment, dismissed the ex-First Lady’s appeal and directed her to return to the Federal High Court to show cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The court also rejected her prayer to strike down the provisions of section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act and other Fraud related offences Act, which was relied on by the Federal High Court to issue the order of interim forfeiture.

Upholding the decision of the Court of Appeal in Lagos, which had affirmed the Federal High Court’s interim order, Justice Kumai Aka’ahs, in the lead judgment of the apex court on Friday, held, “I do not find any reason to interfere with the decision of the lower court”.

Justice Aka’ahs added, ” Appellant is to go back to the trial court (the Federal High Court) to show cause why the interim order should not be made permanent.”

The lead judgment was read on behalf of Justice Aka’ahs by Justice Ejembi Eko, also a member of the panel.

Other members of the five-man panel, Justices Muhammad, John Okoro, Eko, and Sidi Bage, agreed with Justice Aka’ah’s lead judgment.

Recall that last year a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an interim forfeiture of the sum of N9.2bn and $8.4m linked to the wife of former President, Patience Jonathan.

The money is to be forfeited to the Federal Government.

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