The appeal court sitting in Lagos has upheld the interim forfeiture of $5.8m and another N2.5bn traced to Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The latest judgment followed Jonathan’s contestation of the earlier forfeiture order granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Patience Jonathan’s lawyers, Mike Ozekhome and I.A. Adedeipe had urged the appellate court to declare as unconstitutional, the provisions of Sections 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, which empowered the EFCC to make the forfeiture.
However, the appellate judge, Mojeed A. Owoade, disagreed with Jonathan’s lawyers, thereby declaring the action of the anti-graft commission as legal and constitutional.
In the events leading to granting the forfeiture order, the EFCC claimed the monies ($5, 842, 316.66 lodged with Skye Bank and another N2, 421, 953, 522.78 lodged with Eco Bank) were deposited in the name of La Wari Furniture and Baths Limited.
The EFCC said the cash deposits into the account were made through Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, a former aide to Goodluck Jonathan, and a State House steward, Festus Iyoha.