Patience Jonathan, EFCC renew fight over N13.532bn alleged loot

From Mike Ojo, Lagos
Former first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday renewed their legal duel at the Federal High Court, Lagos over the lattera��s attempt to seize the sum of $8,435,788.84 and another N7.35billon alleged traced to her 15 bank accounts.
At the resume of hearing of the case before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, itold the court that the commission had complied with the directive of court by filing further affidavit to show that the suit is not a subject of litigation before any other court.
Last week, the EFCC had approached the court seeking for an order of interim forfeiture of the sum of N13. 532billion and $750.532million suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities kept in the accounts of Mrs. Jonathan.
But the judge observed from the new affidavit filed by the anti-graft agency that one of the bank accountsa�� frozen order, was obtained from the same court and demanded for explanation.
In his response, Oyedepo said that the order was obtained in February last year pending the conclusion of EFCC’s investigation which is distinct from the order of forfeiture as the procedure to be adopted in this scenario as canvassed in Section 17 of the Advanced Free Fraud.
But Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) informed the court of their pending motion challenging its jurisdiction to entertain the matter as it constitutes an abuse of court process.
They contended that the subject matter of the suit was pending before another court.
Adedipe cited that the case before Justice Binta Nyako in Abuja Division of the court and accused the EFCC is trying to do forum shopping.
Ozekhome said that the court must not be used as a forum shopping which EFCC had adopted. He said that this point alone can be used as the a�?Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of worlda�? to dismiss the EFCC’s motion for interim forfeiture as it constitutes an abuse of court process.
But Oyedepo explained that the case before Justice Nyako had been withdrawn and a�?we have make our position known on the court’s observation in the case pending before it.a�?
However, Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case till February 12, 2108 to clarify all the issues.

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