Patience Jonathan Asks Court To Release Seized By EFCC
Patience Jonathan, the wife of the former President Goodluck Jonathan has asked the Federal high court in Lagos State to order the release of the $5.8m and N2.4bn that was initially seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In 2018, due to EFCC application, the court ordered the temporary forfeiture of the fund which was said to have been traced to the former First Lady’s accounts.
Mrs. JOnathan’s lawyer, IFedayo Adedipe (SAN) urged the judge, Mojisola Olatoregun to dismiss the EFCC application, demanding that the money is permanently forfeited to the government.
The lawyer defended that the EFCC had no justification to seize the money as it had not proven that defence stole the money from the government or anybody.
Adedipe said it was wrong for the Financial Body to claim the money was a proceed of a crime.
“It is not the law that if the EFCC finds money in an account and it doesn’t like the owner’s face, it comes to court and says ‘forfeit it’,” Adedipe said
“The government is at liberty to apply for forfeiture but the offence must be stated.
“The first respondent is a wife to a former deputy governor, governor, Vice President, and President.
“Even the current occupier of the office of the First Lady wants to build a university. In this country, First ladies enjoy a lot of goodwill. She (Patience) stated that governors gave her money. Nobody wrote that she stole their money.”
The SAN noted that the funds were cash gifts the defendant received when her husband was in office, adding that such gifts were “normal”.