Patience Jonathan urges court to set aside $5.8m, N3.5b forfeiture order

Patience Jonathan

Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, on Thursday, asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to set aside an order which froze her bank accounts containing $5.8 million and N3.5 billion.

Jonathan asked the court to set aside the order it made on May, 30 on the grounds that it had expired.

The former first lady told the court, through her counsel, Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN) that the order of interim forfeiture, including the one issued on Oct. 10 had been “spent and could not be extended.’’

According to her, the original order was obtained by an improper use of court process by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

She said in a deposition filed in court, that the Incorporated Trustees of Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation, nine other companies and herself were the owners of the money.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Richard Dauda, had earlier told the court that he had filed an application seeking to extend the interim order of forfeiture.

The judge, Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the matter until Nov. 23 for hearing.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, had on May 30, granted an ex-parte order in favour of the Federal Government against all the accounts owned and operated by Jonathan and her companies.

Another order was obtained by the government from the Lagos Division of the court, directing the managers of Skye Bank, Ecobank PLC, Fidelity Bank PLC, Stanbic IBTC PLC, Zenith Bank PLC, and Diamond Bank PLC to in the interim, freeze Jonathan’s accounts.

The banks were also directed to attach the various sums of money in the accounts belonging to the former first lady, Finchley Top Homes Limited, and Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation.