EFCC Moves to Seize Fresh N7.35bn from Patience Jonathan
By admin On 16 Jan, 2018 At 01:42 AM | Categorized As News | With 0 Comments

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to order the temporary forfeiture $8,435,788.84 and N7.35billion suspected to belong to former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

The EFCC told Justice Mojisola Olatoregun that the funds which it believes emanated from Bayelsa State, were found in 15 bank accounts linked with the Mrs. Jonathan.
The anti-graft agency’s counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, said the order would prevent the ex-first lady from dissipating them.

According to the EFCC, the funds were moved from Bayelsa State’s coffers at a time Mrs. Jonathan served as permanent secretary.
The commission alleged that she gained access to the funds by fraudulently assuming the identity of one Esther Oba as the signatory to the said account.

The EFCC’s claims were contained in an ex parte application filed by Oyedepo before Justice Olatoregun.
However, the proceedings were interrupted by a train of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) led by Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe and Chief Mike Ozekhome, who challenged the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the ex parte application.
The SANs told the judge that the funds which the EFCC seeks to seize were already subject of litigation.

But counsel for the EFCC, Oyedepo, maintained that the SANs had no right of hearing in the court, since his application was ex parte, wondering how they got wind of the move by the anti-graft agency in the first place.
He urged the judge to disregard their appearance.

The judge upheld Oyedepo’s submission, following which the SANs left the courtroom.
But in view of the development, the judge adjourned the case till January 23, 2018 and directed the EFCC to file an affidavit to convince her that there were no pending lawsuits relating to the funds sought to be forfeited.
In the said ex parte application, the EFCC listed Mrs. Jonathan, five firms and one Esther Oba as respondents.

The firms that were listed as second to sixth defendants, were Globus Integrated Services Ltd., Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd., Pagmat Oil And Gas Ltd. and Magel Resort Ltd.
The ex parte application was backed by a 15-paragraph affidavit deposed to by an investigator with the EFCC, Huleji Tukura.

Tukura claimed that investigation by the anti-graft agency revealed that the funds found in the bank accounts linked to Patience emanated from the coffers of Bayelsa State and that the funds were moved at a time when the former First Lady served as a permanent secretary in one the ministries in Bayelsa State.
According to Tukura, Mrs Jonathan first opened a First Bank account and then “procured” the then Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, to fund the account with “proceeds of unlawful activities.”

Tukura averred: “That the said Dudafa Warripamo-Owei procured one Festus Isidohomen Iyoha and Arivi Eneji Peter, who were domestic staff attached to the State House, Abuja, to deposit the funds, reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities, in to account of the 1st respondent (Mrs. Jonathan).

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