A Federal High Court Lagos on Wednesday granted an ex parte application seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the sum of 5.9 million dollars belonging to a former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wants the sum forfeited to the Federal Government pending the determination of the motion on notice.
Moving the ex parte application on Wednesday, counsel to the EFCC Mr Rotimi Oyedepo urged the court to grant the order as prayed.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun held: “order is granted as prayed”
The new order was granted about 24 hours after the EFCC had withdrawn an application for stay of the court’s judgment which had earlier unfrozen Jonathan’s account.
In the new motion titled “Action in Rem” the commission seeks an interim order directing interim forfeiture of the sum of 5.8 million dollars found by the commission in the Skye bank account of Jonathan.
The commission also seeks an order directing the interim forfeiture of the sum of N2.4 billion discovered in an Ecobank account in the name of La wari Furniture and Bath Ltd, which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In addition, the commission seeks an order, directing the publication in any National Newspaper, of the said order, to enable any interested party to appear and show cause why the interim order should not be made final.
In an affidavit in support deposed to by one Musbahu Abubakar, the commission avers that it received an intelligence report that funds suspected to be proceeds of crime were warehoused in a Skye bank account in the name of Jonathan.
It said that the said report was analysed and found worthy of investigation, adding that the ex First Lady opened the account on Feb. 7. 2013.
According to the commission, several cash deposits were made by the ex First Lady in United States Dollars, through a former special assistant to ex President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa,.
The commission avers that another frequent depositor of funds into the said account was one Festus Iyoha, who it said was a steward of the State House Abuja.
The EFCC said that between Feb. 8 2013 and Jan. 30 2015, the sum of about 6.7 million dollars, suspected to be proceeds of crime, was deposited into the account.
According to the commission, Jonathan had dissipated the funds, leaving a balance of about 5.7 million dollars.
The commission therefore avers that if the funds are not forfeited in the interim, it may be fully dissipated by Jonathan.
The EFCC added that the sum of N2.03 billion, reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime is currently on fixed deposit in the account of La Wari Furniture, plus a credit balance of about N389 million.
The commission urged the court to grant the application in the interest of justice.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun has fixed May 15, to enable any interested party to appear and show cause why the interim order should not be made final.
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