Court of Appeal yesterday, upheld the order of interim forfeiture of the sum of $5, 842, 316.66 and N2, 421, 953, 522.78 traced to, Patience Jonathan’ s accounts to the Federal Government.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had on April 26, last year, granted an order of interim forfeiture of the sum N5, 842, 316.66 traced to her account number 211001712, domiciled with Skye Bank Plc, on the grounds that the money was suspected to be proceeds of corruption.
The Judge had also granted an order of interim forfeiture of the sum of N2, 421, 953, 522.78, secretively lodged in an account number 202200760, domiciled with Eco Bank Plc, in the name of La Wari Furniture and Baths Limited by Mrs. Jonathan
The order came following an with respect to application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Musbahu Abubakar, an operative of EFCC had testified in a written statement that Mrs. Patience Jonathan had opened the account under sky bank on February 7, 2013. He added that a former special assistant to her husband, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, and a State House steward, Festus Iyoha made several USD cash deposit on the account onbehalf of the former first lady
Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, who moved the application for the temporary forfeiture, had prayed the court to urgently freeze the account, so as to prevent Mrs. Jonathan from moving the funds.
In her ruling, Justice Olatoregun granted the prayers of the EFCC and directed Mrs. Jonathan to show cause why the money should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.
However, in a bid to set aside the ruling, the former First Lady, through her team of lawyers, led by both Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and I.A. Adedipe, approached the appellate court to set aside the order of the lower court.
Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyers also urged the Court of Appeal to declare as unconstitutional, the provisions of Sections 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.
But yesterday, the appellate court, presided over by Justice Mojeed A. Owoade, upheld the constitutionality of Section 17 and the order of the interim forfeiture of the various sums of money belonging to Mrs. Jonathan.