By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by Mrs Patience Jonathan, wife of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, seeking to upturn the interim forfeiture order by a Federal High Court, Lagos placed on the sum of N2.4 billion linked to her.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had traced the said sum to her and alleged that it was proceed of illegal activities. The N2.4 billion, according to the EFCC, was surreptitiously kept in the bank account of La Wari Furniture and Baths Limited, domiciled with Ecobank 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.
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 seven-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.
The 7 man panel whose lead judgement was written by Justice Amiru Sanusi and read by Sidi Baje directed that she should go back to the lower court to answer questions concerning the source of N2.4 billion as demanded by the EFCC. Other members of team are: Tanko Mohammed, Mary Peter Odili, Ejembi Eko, Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed and Kudirat Kekere- Ekun.
It will be recalled that a seven-man panel of Supreme Court justices, had on Friday, March 8, 2019 in a unanimous judgement, 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.
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