Four companies linked to Patience Jonathan appeal forfeiture of N9.2bn, $8.4m
Four companies who were listed alongside former First Lady Patience Jonathan, in N9.2 billion and $8.4 million forfeiture suit, on Tuesday filed an appeal before the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal challenging the final forfeiture order of the said sums to the Federal Government.
The companies are Finchley Top Homes Limited, Am-Pm Global Network Limited, Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited and Magel Resort Limited.
Tribune Online recalls that Justice Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the permanent forfeiture of the sums of N9.2bn and $8.4m recovered from the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.
Justice Olatoregun specifically ordered that the funds should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the said the funds were proceeds of crime.
Dissatisfied with the lower court’s judgement, the appellants filed a notice of Appeal before the appellate court challenging the decision.
The Appellants based their appeal on the fact that funds in question is a subject of another matter in suit FHC\ABJ/821/2016.
One of the grounds of appeal is that the trial judge erred.
The appellants also described the forfeiture order as a miscarriage of justice.
The respondents in the suit are EFCC, Patience Ibifaka Jonathan, and Esther Oba.
$8.435,789.84 million and N9.185, 327, 362 billion were linked to the former First Lady and the companies.
The monies were said to be warehoused in some first generation banks.
The lower court had, on April 19, 2018, made an order of interim forfeiture of the monies, following an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC against Jonathan and some companies.
The judge in her decision on Monday said the respondents “failed to show cause why the monies should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The EFCC said the respondents were not into “any legitimate income-yielding business venture” as to earn such amounts.
It alleged that the firms were incorporated for the purpose of warehousing proceeds of unlawful activities for Patience.
“The depositors into these accounts are domestic staff of State House, Abuja, who were procured by the Dudafa Waripamo-Owei (Jonathan’s Special Assistant on Domestic and Household Matters) to deposit the funds sought to be forfeited in a bid to conceal the true origin of the funds,” the EFCC said in the application filed by its lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.