Court grants in­terim for­fei­ture of Pa­tience Jonathan’s N350m

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye, La­gos

Jus­tice Hadiza Rabiu-Sha­gari sit­ting at the Fed­eral High Court in La­gos yes­ter­day granted an order tem­po­rar­ily freez­ing N350 mil­lion al­legedly traced to Pa­tience Jonathan, wife of for­mer Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan.

The Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC said the money was trans­ferred to a com­pany’s ac­count while Mrs Jonathan was serv­ing as a Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in Bayelsa State be­tween 2012 and 2013.

The com­mis­sion al­leged that the for­mer first lady “un­law­fully en­riched” her­self with the money.

The court granted EFCC’s ex­parte ap­pli­ca­tion filed by its lawyer Mr Ro­timi Oyedepo.

In a supporting af­fi­davit to the ap­pli­ca­tion, an in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer at EFCC, Mus­bahu Ya­haya, said the com­mis­sion re­ceived “a co­gent, di­rect and pos­i­tive in­tel­li­gence re­port” that a com­pany, AM-PM Global Net­work Lim­ited, was in pos­ses­sion of pro­ceeds of the un­law­ful act and re­tained it in an ac­count.

He said be­tween June 20, 2012 and Novem­ber 15, 2013, the com­pany fraud­u­lently re­ceived N1,206,950,000 via its Di­a­mond Bank ac­count, and that the money was “pro­ceeds of un­law­ful en­rich­ment” de­rived by Mrs Dame Pa­tience Jonathan.

“Out of the al­leged pro­ceed of un­law­ful en­rich­ment of Mrs Dame Pa­tience Jonathan, the re­spon­dent trans­ferred the to­tal sum of N350 mil­lion from its ac­count in Di­a­mond Bank to the ac­count sought to be at­tached (Stan­bic IBTC) in a des­per­ate bid to dis­si­pate the funds. We have traced the said N350 mil­lion to the re­spon­dent’s (AM-PM Global Net­work’s) ac­count sought to be at­tached and the order of this court is needed to in­struct the bank to at­tach the ac­count to pre­vent the dis­si­pa­tion of the funds,” he said.

Jus­tice Hadiza de­cided the ap­pli­ca­tion as prayed, and granted “an order di­rect­ing Man­ager of the Stan­bic IBTC Bank to in the in­terim freeze the ac­count pend­ing the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pos­si­ble pros­e­cu­tion of this case.”

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