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“No evidence to show the money was legitimately earned,” court rules on Patience Jonathan’s loot

THE Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos on Monday, has ordered the permanent forfeiture of the sums of $8.4 million and N9.1 billion recovered from Patience  Jonathan, wife of former President, Goodluck Jonathan.

The court’s ruling is based on a previous application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arguing that the monies were proceeds of criminal transaction.

On April 19, 2018,  the presiding judge, Mojisola Olatoregun ruled in favour, of an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC, for the interim forfeiture of the various sums of money against Patience and several companies fingered in the case.

The companies are Globus Integrated Service Limited, Finchley Top Homes Limited; AM-PM Global Network Limited; Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited and Magel Resort Limited.

The funds were stashed in the following banks: Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank Plc), Diamond Bank Plc, Stanbic-IBTC and First Bank Plc.

Patience, through her lawyers, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), opposed the application and insisted that the funds legitimately belonged to Mrs. Jonathan, but the court held that the EFCC proved its claim beyond reasonable doubts.

Her appeal was subsequently dismissed by the Court of Appeal in Lagos before she proceeded to the Supreme court.

The ICIR reported the decision of the Supreme Court directing the former first lady to go before the Federal High Court to explain why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government, therefore upholding 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.

In his judgment, Justice Olatoregun affirmed that the money was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

“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,” he said.

He granted the EFCC’s application that the money should be permanently forfeited to the FG.

Details of the recovered and forfeited to the government include:

1) The sum of $3,645,013.73 (Three Million, Six Hundred and Forty-Five Thousand, Thirteen United States Dollar, Seventy-Three Cents) found by the EFCC in account number: 2031277178 domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria Ltd.

2)  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 Cents) found by the EFCC in account number: 1771421299 domiciled with Skye Bank Plc.

3)  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 number: 4011019539 domiciled with Fidelity Bank Plc.

4) 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 number: 1102001996 domiciled with Eco Bank Ltd.

5) 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

6) 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 number: 0019213687 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc.

7) 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 number:0026718889 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc.

8) 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 number:0026838491 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc

9)  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 number: 0024351590 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc.

10) 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 number:1011744356 domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc

11) 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 the account number: 4011019560 domiciled with Fidelity Bank Plc

12) The sum of N1,000,494,000.00 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Four Thousand Naira) found by the Commission in account number: 4011019546 domiciled with Fidelity Bank Plc.

13)  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 number: 0016971559 domiciled with Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc.

14)  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 number: 4011019577 domiciled with Fidelity Bank Plc

15)  The sum of $429,381.87 (Four Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty-One United State Dollars, Eighty-Seven Cents) found by the Commission in account number: 2110003170 domiciled with Skye Bank Plc.

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