Patience Jonathan loses legal tussle over forfeited $5.7m

The Court of Appeal in Lagos on Friday dismissed an appeal filed by the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, over the temporary forfeiture of her $5.7million.

Jonathan had appealed a ruling by a Federal High Court in Lagos which temporarily ordered the money’s forfeiture to the Federal Government.

The Court of Appeal upheld the temporary forfeiture order made by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on April 26, 2017.

Olatoregun had made the order based on an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

She had also ordered the temporary forfeiture of N2.4 billion found in an Ecobank account in the name of La Wari Furniture and Baths Ltd.

The commission had said that the money also belonged to Mrs Jonathan.

The Court of Appeal similarly dismissed an appeal filed by La Wari Funiture and Baths.

The appellant had urged the court to declare Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act unconstitutional for being in conflict with the Evidence Act and the 1999 Constitution.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Mojeed Owoade on Friday, the appellate court held that the appeal lacked merit.

It upheld EFCC’s arguments and resolved all the issues against the appellant.

The court upheld the constitutionality of Section 17 of the Advance Fee fraud Act which empowers the EFCC to apply for a forfeiture of properties reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity to the Federal Government.

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