$5.9m suit: A’court adjourns hearing Patience’s case Nov 3


An appeal filed by a former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan has been fixed for hearing by the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos, against the seized sum of $5.9m, belonging to the Federal Government to Nov. 3.

The appellate court fixed the date at the Monday proceedings in the case.

Patience, through her lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), is urging the Court of Appeal to overturn an April 26, 2017, interim order of Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court in Lagos that the $5.9m found in her Skye Bank account should be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.

The forfeiture order was made in favour of the EFCC which took an ex parte application before the judge.

Apart from Patience’s personal account with $5.9m, the court also froze a number of accounts linked to her, including an Ecobank account, with a balance of N2.4bn, opened in the name of one La Wari Furniture and Bath Limited.

In a supporting affidavit attached to the ex parte application, the EFCC told Justice Olatoregun that the funds were suspected to be proceeds of Patience’s alleged criminal activities.

An EFCC operative, Musbahu Abubakar, who deposed to the affidavit, stated that Patience opened the Skye Bank account on February 7, 2013, and used it to allegedly warehouse proceeds of crime.

According to Abubakar, the former first lady made several cash deposits in United States dollar into the account, through a former Special Assistant to ex-President Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, and a State House steward, Festus Iyoha.

He said as of January 30, 2015, the Skye Bank account had a balance of $6.7m but Patience subsequently withdrew it down to $5.9m.

The EFCC had prayed the court to urgently freeze the account so as to prevent Patience for moving the funds.