Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court in Lagos will deliver judgement in a motion for final forfeiture of $153million linked to former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, February 11, 2019.
In June 2017, Justice Olatoregun had made an order for interim forfeiture of the funds, when Rotimi Oyedepo, the EFCC counsel, approached the court on an ex parte order under section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act, section 34 of EFCC Act and other related offences Act.
The judge also directed EFCC to advertise the order in two national dailies so that interested parties can prove the legitimacy of the funds.
Consequently, counsels to Jonathan, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) led other counsel and argued that nobody complained any loss of money to EFCC, noting that Patience Jonathan was not a public office holder under her husband’s administration. As such, they urged the court to set aside the interim order of forfeiture earlier made.
However, in his response, Oyedepo urged the court to order a final forfeiture of $153million to the Nigerian government on the basis that it was proceeds of unlawful activities laundered under some fictitious companies.
He argued that the person claiming ownership of the funds must show to the court her interest, as her name was not on the list of directors of the companies allegedly used to launder the funds, neither did her name appear in the mandate card of the company’s accounts.
He then prayed the court to order final forfeiture of the funds.
After listening to both parties, the Judge had adjourned the case till February 11, 2019, for judgement.