The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday picked holes in the lawsuit filed by the wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, to take possession of a sum of $15.5m seized last year by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In a ruling, Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos noted that while Patience approached the court by way of an originating summons, the issues in the suit could not be decided without the parties calling oral evidence.
The judge also observed that there was a lack of harmony between the issues formulated by the defendants in response to those raised by Patience in her suit.
He, therefore, ordered the parties to go back and amend their pleadings, stating that it was after then that the matter could proceed.
Justice Idris held, “The issues of fact raised by the defendants herein are not spurious or irrelevant. The affidavit of the plaintiff is also not conjectural.
“In my view, the facts are contentious, and oral evidence needs to be led by the parties herein. In the light of the above facts, this case is generally not suitable for an originating summons procedure.
“In the circumstances, the court hereby orders the parties herein to file pleadings in accordance with the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009 and trial shall then proceed accordingly. This is the order of the court.”
Patience filed the suit last year to challenge the ‘No Debit Order’ placed by the EFCC on the bank accounts of four companies linked to a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.
The said companies, which had a total of $15.5m in their bank accounts, were Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Company Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Development Company Limited.