Final forfeiture: Court hears suit against Patience Jonathan April 12
NEWS DIGEST–A Federal High Court Lagos, Wednesday, fixed April 12, to hear oral evidence in a suit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, seeking final forfeiture of about 8.4 million dollars, and N7.4 billion linked to the former first Lady, Patience Jonathan.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had in a ruling delivered on Feb.28, on the motion for final forfeiture, held that there were conflicting affidavit evidence, which could be best resolved if respective parties were called upon to give oral evidence.
The case was consequently, adjourned until March 13 (today) for oral evidence.
On Wednesday, the case could not proceed as earlier scheduled, while April 12 has been fixed as return date
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the EFCC had secured an interim order for forfeiture of the sums on April 20, 2018, before Olatoregun, following a motion exparte.
It joined as respondents: Patience Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil, and Gas Ltd and Magel Resort Ltd and Esther Oba.
NAN reports that on Oct. 29, 2018, EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had moved his motion for final forfeiture of the sums, urging that same be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, defence counsel, Messrs Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and Mr Ige Asemudara had respectively moved their processes in opposition to the motion for final forfeiture.
On Jan. 15, the court had admitted electronic evidence presented by respondent counsel, which depicted video exhibits showing various business outfits of the third and sixth respondents
The court had then adjourned for judgment.
In a ruling on Feb.28, the judge had first dismissed an application by counsel for the respondents, seeking to set aside the interim forfeiture orders made on April 20, 2018.
The court had held that it was satisfied that the requirement for the grant of the interim orders was met by the EFCC, adding that it was clear that at the time the interim order was made, there was no pending suit elsewhere.
Meanwhile, giving its ratio on the motion for final forfeiture, the court held that it finds the affidavit evidence conflicting, adding that same can only be resolved if the parties concerned were called upon to give oral evidence.