Firms Linked To Patience Jonathan Challenge Final Forfeiture Of N12bn

EFCC Seeks Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m, N7.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

Four firms which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged were incorporated for warehousing proceeds of unlawful activities for Mrs. Patience Jonathan have filed a notice of appeal against Monday’s judgment of the Federal High Court in Lagos which ordered the permanent forfeiture of the sums of $8.4m and N9.2bn to the Federal Government.

Magel Resort Limited, joined by Finchley Top Homes Limited, AM PM Global Network, and Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited are challenging the decision by the federal high court.

The firms say they are challenging the entire judgment and are asking the appellate court to set it aside and return the forfeited funds to the accounts of the appellants.

Through their lawyer, Mike Ozekhome(SAN), they filed 6 grounds of appeal, seeking to set aside the judgment of Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.

READ ALSO: Allegedly Money Laundering: Patience Jonathan Challenges Forfeiture Of Funds

In their six grounds of appeal, the appellants, argued that the Federal High Court occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it assumed jurisdiction to hear the motion for the final forfeiture of the funds and relying on the “speculative depositions” of the EFCC against the clear evidence of the acquisition of income and proofs by the appellants.

The appellants argued that the federal high court judge granted the final forfeiture order ”without deciding as to whether the appellant had shown sufficient cause which would have warranted it to discharge its earlier interim forfeiture order before proceeding with the suit”.

The appellants further argued that the lower court erred by granting the final forfeiture order while its jurisdiction was still being challenged.

They also say that the court was given uncontroverted evidence of how the monies domiciled in their accounts were made and they therefore discharged the burden placed on them by Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act of 2007.

Alleged Money Laundering: Patience Jonathan Challenges Forfeiture Of Funds

EFCC Seeks Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m, N7.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, has filed a notice of appeal to challenge a judgment of the Federal High Court in Lagos which ordered the permanent forfeiture of the sum of $8.4 million and another N9.2 billion to the Federal Government.

In the notice which has six grounds of appeal, Mrs Jonathan has asked the Court of Appeal in Lagos to set aside the judgment of Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.

Through her counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Mrs Jonathan and the other appellants said the judge erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when she assumed jurisdiction to hear the application for the final forfeiture of the sums.

Mrs Jonathan also argued that the issue of the court’s jurisdiction was already being challenged as the monies in question were a subject matter of a pending litigation before the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The former First Lady also says that the appellants clearly provided uncontroverted evidence of how the monies were made and they, therefore, discharged the burden placed on them by Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act of 2007.

The appellants in the suit are Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd, Magel Resort Ltd and Esther Oba, persons & companies through whom the funds were allegedly laundered on behalf of Mrs Jonathan.

Court Orders Permanent Forfeiture Of $8.4m, N9.2bn Linked To Patience Jonathan

EFCC Seeks Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m, N7.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has ordered the permanent forfeiture to the Federal Government, the sum of $8.4million and another N9.2billion linked to the wife of the former President, Dame Patience Jonathan.

Justice Mojisola Olaterogun held that she failed to show reasonable cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited.

The court found that the funds as claimed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.

On April 20, 2018, the EFCC had secured an interim order for forfeiture of the sums following a motion exparte it filed before the court.

It joined as respondents: Patience Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Limited, Am-Pm Global Network Limited, Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited and Magel Resort Limited and Esther Oba.

On October 29, 2018, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, moved his motion for final forfeiture of the sums, urging that same be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, defence counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and Ige Asemudara, had respectively moved their processes in opposition to the motion for final forfeiture.

On January 15, 2019, the court admitted electronic evidence presented by the defence team which depicted video exhibits showing various business outfits of Finchley Top Homes Ltd. and Magel Resort Limited.

The court had then adjourned for judgment.

In a judgment delivered on February 28, the court held that it found the affidavit evidence conflicting, and same could only be resolved by oral evidence of parties.

The court had then ordered parties to call their witnesses.

At the last adjourned date, an EFCC witness, Orji Chukwuma, had concluded evidence before the court, while the court had adjourned till today for continuation of evidence.

 

Court Adjourns Forfeiture Suit Against Patience Jonathan Till May 24

EFCC Seeks Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m, N7.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed May 24 to continue proceedings in the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the wife of former President, Mrs Patience Jonathan.

The suit is seeking the final forfeiture of about $8.4 million and N7.4billion found in some accounts linked to Mrs Jonathan.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun fixed the date for the continuation of affidavit evidence after counsel to Mrs Jonathan, Mike Ozekhome informed the court that he needed time to respond to a counter affidavit served on him by the EFCC.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo had earlier told the court that he filed a counter affidavit which was served on the defence on Tuesday. He then expressed his readiness to continue with the case.

Though the defence counsel, Mr Ozekhome (SAN), confirmed service of the counter affidavit, he added that there were new and weighty facts deposed in it which requires time to peruse, confirm and respond to.

He, therefore, sought an adjournment of the case. Other parties in the case had no objections to the request and the court subsequently adjourned until May 24 for the continuation of trial.

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On April 20, 2018, the EFCC had secured an interim order for forfeiture of the sums following a motion exparte it filed before the court.

It joined as respondents: Patience Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Limited, Am-Pm Global Network Limited, Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited and Magel Resort Limited and Esther Oba.

On October 29, 2018, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, moved his motion for final forfeiture of the sums, urging that same be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, defence counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and Ige Asemudara, had respectively moved their processes in opposition to the motion for final forfeiture.

On January 15, 2019, the court admitted electronic evidence presented by the defence team which depicted video exhibits showing various business outfits of Finchley Top Homes Ltd. and Magel Resort Limited.

The court had then adjourned for judgment.

In a judgment delivered on February 28, the court held that it found the affidavit evidence conflicting, and same could only be resolved by oral evidence of parties.

The court had then ordered parties to call their witnesses.

At the last adjourned date, an EFCC witness, Orji Chukwuma, had concluded evidence before the court, while the court had adjourned till today for continuation of evidence.

Court Fixes May 22 To Hear Case Involving $9m Allegedly Linked To Patience Jonathan

Court Orders Forfeiture Of N1.04bn Allegedly Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

The suit filed by the wife of the former President, Patience Jonathan, challenging a “No Debit Order” placed on some bank accounts came up for mention today at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The four bank accounts in contention have a combined total of about $9m.

Justice Chukwujeku Aneke is hearing the matter for the first time after the elevation of the former trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris.

Justice Idris has been elevated to the Court of Appeal

READ ALSOAlleged $5.7m Money Laundering: Court To Hear Patience Jonathan’s Suit On May 8

At today’s proceedings, Counsel to Mrs Jonathan, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) told Justice Aneke that the matter was to start afresh following Justice Idris elevation.

He also mentioned to the judge that his client had to amend her statement of claim to correctly reflect the change in name of Skye bank to Polaris Bank.

Other lawyers in the case confirmed this position to the court. They also mentioned that as a result of Mrs Jonathan’s amendment, they would need to also amend their documents, file and serve the same.

Justice Aneke agreed to allow parties to align their documents and processes and adjourned the case to May 22.

Patience Jonathan had filed the suit in 2016 to challenge the order placed on four Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank Ltd) accounts harbouring a total of $9.8m. She says the funds belong to her.

She listed as defendants: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Polaris Bank Ltd, and three companies, Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd, and Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd.

Mrs Jonathan wants the court to declare that she is the owner of the funds in the accounts opened in the names of the three companies, and so, she is entitled to access the funds for her use and benefit.

Patience Jonathan is also seeking an order, restraining the EFCC or any other person, from preventing her access to the funds.

She is also seeking an order, discharging the “No Debit’Freezing Order” placed on the accounts of the companies.

She seeks an order, directing Polaris Bank to release forthwith to her, the sum of 9.8 million dollars, or any such other funds in the account as at March 29, 2016

Alleged $5.7m Money Laundering: Court To Hear Patience Jonathan’s Suit On May 8

Court Orders Forfeiture Of N1.04bn Allegedly Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered parties to file affidavits before it to disclose what transpired at the Appeal and the Supreme courts in a suit seeking the final forfeiture of some sums linked to the wife of the former President, Patience Jonathan.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun then adjourned further proceedings till the 8th of May.

The EFCC had said the funds were suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

At the instance of the commission, Justice Olatoregun in April 2017 had ordered that the funds, $5.7million and another N2.4bn allegedly belonging to Mrs. Jonathan be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government pending the final determination of the suit.

READ ALSO: Prosecution Closes Case Against Onnoghen Before CCT

Following the temporary forfeiture, Mrs. Jonathan, through her lawyers, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Mike Ozekhome (SAN), filed an appeal to challenge the order.

On Jan, 12, the Court of Appeal, upheld the temporary forfeiture.
Dissatisfied, Mrs. Jonathan appealed to the Supreme Court.

On March 15, the Supreme Court, affirmed the Court of Appeal judgment, and directed Mrs Jonathan to return before Justice Olatoregun to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The Supreme Court also rejected her prayer to strike down the provisions of Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act, which EFCC relied on in filing the application.

At today’s proceedings, her counsel, Mr Adedipe informed Justice Olatoregun about developments at the Supreme Court. He also asked the judge to adjourn for parties to argue the motion for & against the final forfeiture of the sums.

In a short ruling, Justice Olatoregun granted the request and ordered the EFCC and Mrs Jonathan to file affidavits disclosing what transpired at the appellate courts.

Further proceeding was subsequently adjourned to 8th of May.

Supreme Court Affirms Interim Forfeiture Of N2.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan

EFCC Seeks Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m, N7.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by the wife of former president, Goodluck Jonathan – Patience, seeking to upturn the interim forfeiture order by a Federal High Court in Lagos placed on the sum of N2.4 billion linked to her.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Friday by the Ag. Head, Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Tony Orilade.
The EFCC, had traced the said sum to her and alleged that it was proceeds of illegal activities.

According to the anti-graft agency, the N2.4 billion was surreptitiously kept in the bank account of La Wari Furniture and Baths Limited, domiciled with Eco Bank Plc.

Justice Mojisola Olaterogun had in 2017 ordered the interim forfeiture of the money, and held that anyone interested in it should appear before the court to show cause why it should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

Read Also: Supreme Court Affirms Interim Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s $8.4m

Dissatisfied with the ruling, Patience had approached the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, seeking to upturn the ruling of the lower court.

However, ruling on the appeal on January 12, 2018, the appellate court, in a lead judgement read by Justice Mojeed Owoade, rather upheld the interim forfeiture order.

Not satisfied with the ruling of the appellate court, Patience, through her counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), again filed an appeal challenging the ruling before the Supreme Court.

However, the five-man panel of Supreme Court justices have now again in a unanimous ruling, delivered on Friday, March 15, 2019, upheld the interim forfeiture order of the N2.4 billion.

It will be recalled that a five-man panel of Supreme Court justices, had on Friday, March 8, 2019, in a unanimous judgment, also dismissed Patience’s appeal against the interim forfeiture order of a Federal High Court, Lagos, for another $8.4 million traced to her by the EFCC and believed to be proceeds of illegal activities.

Court To Hear Case On Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m Linked To Patience Jonathan April 12

Court Orders Forfeiture Of N1.04bn Allegedly Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

The case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking the final forfeiture of about $8.4m and N7.4b linked to the wife of the former President, Patience Jonathan, failed to go on at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday.

The EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, was said to be attending to an urgent matter before the National Judicial Council’s five-man panel set up to investigate the allegations levelled against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen and the Acting CJN, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.

The court has now fixed April 12 to hear the matter. On the adjourned date, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun is expected to take oral evidence from parties with regard to the final forfeiture of the monies.

In a judgment delivered on February 28, Justice Olatoregun held that there was conflicting affidavit evidence, which could best be resolved if respective parties were called upon to give oral evidence.

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The court reached this decision after the EFCC Counsel, Mr. Oyedepo moved his motion for final forfeiture of the sums to the Federal Government.

However, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and Mr. Ige Asemudara, appearing for the respondents, had opposed the move.

The respondents are 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.

On January 15, the court admitted electronic pieces of evidence presented by the respondents, which depicted video exhibits showing various business outfits of the third and sixth respondents to show that the sums sought to be forfeited were legitimate funds.

The court then adjourned for judgment. In its judgment, the judge first dismissed an application by the respondents, seeking to set aside the interim forfeiture orders of the sum, made on April 20, 2018.

The court held that it was satisfied that the requirement for the grant of the interim orders was met by the EFCC since it was clear that at the time the interim order was made, there was no pending suit elsewhere.

Supreme Court Affirms Interim Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s $8.4m

Court Orders Forfeiture Of N1.04bn Allegedly Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

The Supreme Court has affirmed an order of interim forfeiture made by the Lagos division of the Federal High Court in respect of the sum of $8.4m linked to the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs Patience Jonathan.

The five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad, in a unanimous judgment, on Friday dismissed the ex-first lady’s appeal and directed her to return to the Federal High Court to show cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the government.

The court also rejected her prayer to strike down the provisions of Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act, which was relied on by the Federal High Court to issue the order of interim forfeiture.

In upholding the decision of the Court of Appeal in Lagos, which had affirmed the Federal High Court’s interim order, Justice Kumai Aka’ahs, in the lead judgment of the apex court said, “I do not find any reason to interfere with the decision of the lower court”.

“Appellant is to go back to the trial court to show cause why the interim order should not be made permanent,” he added.

The lead judgment was read on behalf of Justice Aka’ahs by Justice Ejembi Eko, who is also a member of the panel.

The EFCC had last year approached the Federal High Court in Lagos with an ex parte application seeking the forfeiture of the sum of $8,435,788.84 and other sums in various bank accounts linked to the wife of the former president.

The anti-graft agency, in its application anchored on Section 17 of Advance Fee Fraud Act, had urged the court to grant an order of interim forfeiture of the funds which they said were suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

Patience Jonathan and others including some organisations were joined in the said ex parte application as respondents.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court in Lagos had on April 20, 2018 granted the ex parte order.

She also ordered the EFCC to publish the court’s order in any major national newspaper to enable the respondents or anyone interested in the funds to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the said funds should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Court Orders Forfeiture Of N1.04bn Allegedly Linked To Patience Jonathan

Court Orders Forfeiture Of N1.04bn Allegedly Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured an interim forfeiture of the sum of N1,000,494,000, found hidden away in a bank account allegedly linked to a former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan.

A statement from the EFCC on Friday revealed that the forfeiture followed an order granted by Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano.

“The forfeiture was as a result of a motion ex parte filed by the Commission seeking for the interim forfeiture of the sum of N1,000,494,000 (One Billion Four and Ninety Four Thousand Naira) only found hidden away in the bank account of MAGEL RESORT LIMITED, a company linked to the former first lady of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan,” it said.

According to the statement, the anti-graft agency received an intelligence alleging that a bank account was said to have stored a huge sum of money that is not being used by anybody.

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Upon receipt of the intelligence, the EFCC conducted a preliminary investigation which it said revealed that the former first lady and some relatives of her husband were alleged directors of the company.

While tracing the origin of the money, the commission said it discovered that N500,000 was deposited on May 20, 2015.

Five days later, N1,000,000,000 was transferred in two tranches from a company that was not incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The court order read: “An interim forfeiture order is granted to the Federal Government in the sum of N1,000,494,000 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Four Thousand Naira) only in the bank account of the first respondent Magel Resort Limited 4011019546 which is maintained with second respondent Fidelity Bank Plc”.

Justice Allagoa also ordered that the forfeited sum be deposited in the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.

EFCC Seeks Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m, N7.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan

EFCC Seeks Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m, N7.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed an application seeking the final forfeiture of $8.4million and N7.4 billion allegedly linked to the wife of the former President, Mrs Patience Jonathan.

The anti-graft agency filed the application on Wednesday before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

In his submission for the final forfeiture order, counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that Mrs Jonathan allegedly diverted the funds from a Non-Governmental Organisation linked to her – Women for Change Initiative.

According to him, most of the funds were fraudulently diverted from the NGO to other accounts of the second to sixth respondents – companies also believed to be owned by the former first lady.

READ ALSO: Patience Jonathan Makes Case For Forfeited $8.4m, N7.4bn

Oyedepo also said that as regards the $8.4 million, Mrs Jonathan had not been able to disclose to the court the identities of those who made the donations to the NGO.

He said the EFCC has exhibits placed before the court to show that the former first lady was the sole signatory to the companies’ accounts.

The EFCC among other things alleged that Mrs Jonathan, the companies – Globus Integrated Services Ltd., Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd., Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd. Magel Resort Ltd., and Esther Oba, conspired to commit the offences.

After listening to the arguments of the EFCC and the respondents in the matter, Justice Olatoregun fixed February 11 to deliver judgment in the application.

Patience Jonathan Makes Case For Forfeited $8.4m, N7.4bn

Patience Jonathan Makes Case For Forfeited $8.4m, N7.4bn
A file photo of Mrs Patience Jonathan

 

The wife of the former President, Mrs Patience Jonathan, has made a case for the sum of $8.4 million and N7.4bn temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.

At the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday, her lawyers played video evidence to convince the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, that the monies were legitimate.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had via an ex parte application in April 2018 obtained an interim order for the forfeiture of the sum.

It joined as respondents, Mrs Patience Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd, Magel Resort Ltd, and Esther Oba.

While granting the interim forfeiture, the court had directed that the order be published in the national dailies for any interested party to appear and show cause why a final order should not be made.

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In October 2018, the EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, moved for the final forfeiture of the sums; but a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, who represented some of the respondents opposed the move and urged the court to instead hear his counter-affidavits.

At the proceeding today, Mr Ozekhome who appeared for the third to sixth respondents informed the court that exhibit F5 of his processes proved that the third respondent (Finchley Homes) was a company, and he showed video evidence of various outfits legitimately run by the company.

Five videos were played in all via a projector in the courtroom.

The first video, which spanned a period of 25 minutes, showed business outlets and products of Finchley Homes Ltd (third respondent), including the interior and exterior home decorations, household utensils, textiles, drinks, noodles, furniture, its warehouse, as well as various pickup vans belonging to the company.

The second video clip, which ran for four minutes, also showed the business outfit of the sixth respondent (Magel Resort Ltd), located in Otueke, Bayelsa State, a luxurious hotel and suites with well-equipped IT centres.

Another SAN, Ifedayo Adedipe, who represented the first respondent, exhibited three more videos, showing activities of the Women for Change Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation, linked to Mrs Jonathan.

The third video, which ran for 10 minutes, showed the flag off of the initiative’s campaign while the fourth video which was displayed for 10 minutes showed aspects of the initiative’s empowerment programmes for women through the distribution of bags of rice and other food items.

The seven-minute fifth video displayed a visit of Mrs Jonathan to Katsina State, to flag off the initiative.

After the final display of the video clips, the EFCC’s counsel told the court that he had not been served with the affidavit of the respondents showing some of the exhibits displayed in court.

Justice Olatoregun thereafter adjourned till Wednesday for the continuation of the trial.