Court orders final forfeiture of millions of dollars stolen by former Nigerian First Lady Patience Jonathan

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. We invite you to donate to our fundraiser to help us keep our quality news free and available to all.  

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.

The 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. 

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

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:

ü  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.

ü  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.

ü  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.

ü  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.

ü  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

ü  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.

ü  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.

ü  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

ü  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.

ü  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

ü  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

ü  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.

ü  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.

ü  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

ü  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

[/read_more]

Tony Orilade
Tony Orilade
Tony Orilade, a Nigerian journalist, is Acting Head, Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja, Nigeria. This is an official statement from him. The headline might have been slightly modified.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

DR Congo rebel commander wanted for multiple crimes still a free man

Congolese authorities have not arrested a rebel commander wanted for multiple crimes under a June 2019 warrant even as his forces have...

Trump says Sudan to be removed from terrorism list if it pays $335 million in compensation

President Donald Trump on Monday said Sudan will be removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism once it...

Anxiety in Africa as Johnson & Johnson conceals critical details about COVID-19 vaccine illness

Anxiety continued to mount across Sub-Saharan Africa on Monday over COVID-19 vaccine trials by Johnsons & Johnson, as the company continued...

Rights group urges AU to denounce crackdown on Cameroon’s opposition

Human Rights Watch on Monday urged the African Union (AU), the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the Economic...

Mass prison break: Thugs disguised as protesters free over 200 inmates in Nigeria

Thugs disguised as protesters have freed over 200 inmates in Nigeria.The criminals disguised as EndSARS protesters freed...

MOST POPULAR

Damning report finds detainees in Iran were sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown

Iran’s police, intelligence and security forces, and prison officials have committed, with the complicity of judges and prosecutors, a catalogue of...

Africa shocked U.S. under Trump has worst coronavirus response in the world

President Donald Trump has "failed in his basic duty to protect Americans", world's renowned journalist Bob Woodward told Fox News Sunday...

IMF’s Georgieva says second round of support coming to Africa but Oxfam argues debt cancelation the only way out of COVID-19 turmoil

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Ms. Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday that the Washington DC-based institution is...

EXCLUSIVE: IMF economist details how COVID-19 economic turmoil in Asia will affect Sub-Saharan Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic is battering economies in Asia with a contraction expected for the first time in many decades. The economic...

Ethiopia charges prominent opposition figure Jawar Mohammed with terrorism

As human rights organizations continue to warn that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is turning Ethiopia into a dictatorship, his administration on...

U.S. imposes sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong persons for ‘supporting Iran’

The United States on Monday announced that it had imposed sanctions on some Chinese and Hong Kong Persons for "Activities Related to Supporting the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.""The international community has long recognized that the Iranian regime uses the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) to transport proliferation-sensitive items intended for Iran’s ballistic missile and...

[/read_more]

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

Share
WhatsApp
Reddit
Tweet
Share