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Supreme Court Affirms Interim Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s $8.4m |RN

 

The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed the appeal filed by the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan regarding the forfeited sum of $8.4m.

The apex court upheld the decisions of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal and affirmed an order of interim forfeiture made by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court

The decision was contained in a unanimous judgment reached by the five-man bench of the apex court led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad.

Other members of the panel include Justices Muhammad, John Okoro, Eko, and Sidi Bage.

The court also rejected Jonathan’s prayer to strike down the provisions of section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act and other Fraud related offences Act, which was relied on by the Federal High Court to issue the order of interim forfeiture.

Ruling, Justice Kumai Aka’ahs, in the lead judgment of the apex court, read by Justice Ejembi Eko, said:

“I do not find any reason to interfere with the decision of the lower court”.

“Appellant is to go back to the trial court (the Federal High Court) to show cause why the interim order should not be made permanent,” he added.

The EFCC had last year approached the Federal High Court in Lagos with an ex parte application seeking the forfeiture of the sum of $8,435,788.84 and other various sums in various bank accounts linked to the wife of the former President.  (ElombahNews)

 

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BREAKING: Court Orders Interim Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s Abuja Houses

Patience-jonathan-house
                     Patience Jonathan

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered an interim forfeiture of two properties linked to the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs Patience Jonathan.

The properties are at Plot No. 1960, Cadastral Zone A05, Maitama District; and Plot No. 1350, Cadastral Zone A00, both in Abuja.

The properties were said to be held in the name of Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation, which Mrs Jonathan was said to be one of its “trustees.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had, in an ex parte application filed in September last year, asked for an interim forfeiture of the properties, which it claimed were subjects of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Ruling on the commission’s ex parte application on Monday, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba dismissed Mrs Jonathan’s objection to the application for lacking in merit.

The court then ordered the interim forfeiture, which he, however, ruled must only last for 45 days.

He ruled that within the 45 days, EFCC must conclude its investigations and charge the suspects being investigated in respect of the alleged crimes linked to properties.

He, however, added that the EFCC was at liberty to file an application for the extension of the lifespan of the order before the expiration of the initial 45 days.

He also ordered that if for any reason EFCC’s officials needed to access the properties within the period of interim forfeiture, they must do so with the respondents in attendance.

He ordered that the inventory of the fixtures in the properties and a report to that effect be submitted to the court. (Punch)

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Alleged Rights Violation: Patience Jonathan Sues EFCC For N2bn |RN

patience-jonathan1

Wife of Former President, Dame Patience Jonathan

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan has slammed a N2billion rights enforcement suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The suit was predicated on Order 2 Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009 and Sections 34(1), 36(1), 37, 42 and 44 of 1999 Constitution as amended.

In the suit, the former First Lady, through her lawyer,

I.A Adedipe (SAN), is asking the court for an order for general damages/compensation in the sum of N2bn only against the EFCC jointly and severally for the violation of her fundamental rights.

The applicant wants a declaration that her incessant harassment by the EFCC through negative media publications, denigrating and degrading her person as corrupt, without any invitation by EFCC, trial or conviction by a court is a violation of her rights under Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution.

The applicant wants a declaration that indiscriminate freezing of her bank accounts and those of her relatives by the EFCC under the guise of investigation of proceeds of crime, without any invitation or interrogation by the respondent is a violation of her rights to own property and to fair hearing guaranteed under Sections 44 and 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution. 

“A declaration that the invasion, breaking into and ransacking of the applicant’s family property by the agents of the respondent in the absence of the applicant or any member of her family, while purporting to be executing a search warrant is a violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights to private and family life guaranteed under the provisions of Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“A declaration that the incessant harassment of the applicant by the respondent on the ground of her political views expressed by reason of her being a member of the opposition party in Nigeria, is a violation of the applicant’s fundamental human right to freedom from discrimination, guaranteed under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“An order of court restraining the respondent, whether by itself, its agents, privies or any person acting on its behalf from further violating the applicant’s fundamental rights adumbrated above.”

The matter assigned to Justice John Tsoho was mentioned yesterday but was adjourned to November 16, 2017.  (The Sun)

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Patience Jonathan Accuses EFCC Of Witch Hunt, Plans To Destroy Her Family |RN

Wife of former president Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of a witch-hunt against her and her family, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.

A statement issued by her media aide, Mr Belema Meshack-Hart, on Monday, in Abuja, quoted Mrs Jonathan as saying that the EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, was “prosecuting a plot to destroy my family”.

“Magu’s vindictive disposition towards my family is portraying the organisation as an agency for revenge,” it further quoted her as saying.

Mrs Jonathan specifically accused Magu of bias and intimidation, saying that the EFCC boss was “spreading barefaced falsehood and propaganda against me in the name of investigations”.

She accused the EFCC of “unjustified witch hunt”, saying that no other former first lady had faced “such brazen intimidation in the history of this country”.

“For almost three years, the EFCC has beamed its searchlight on me and my family members, including my siblings and parents, as well as my Foundation and Non-Governmental Organisation.

“As a tradition, every First Lady in this country has had one pet project or the other, with which they sought to intervene in the lives of the less privileged.

“Mrs Jonathan started her NGO in Bayelsa State 11 years ago, when her husband was the Governor of that State.

“With it, she has, over the years, touched the lives of many Nigerians indifferent ways.

“It is surprising that while other First ladies and their pet projects were left alone, it is only her activities and

that of her NGOs that are being subjected to indefinite probe and microscopic scrutiny.

“In a method that clearly bears out the axiom of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it, the EFCC has maliciously linked Mrs Jonathan to all kinds of fake possessions and properties around the country.

“It has come to a point where all the magnificent edifices in Abuja, Yenagoa or Port Harcourt are presented

to the media as belonging to Mrs Patience Jonathan. She has been accused of owning several plots of land in many cities across the country, including places she has never visited.

“The most astonishing of all is that her close relatives are being victimized and their personal properties are being investigated,” the statement stated.

It urged Buhari to intervene on the matter to ensure justice for the former first family and also ensure that the EFCC’s actions were not interpreted as part of a larger plot to disgrace his (Buhari)’s predecessor.

Efforts to speak with EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, were not successful, but a senior official of the commission, rejected suggestions that the outfit was out on a witch hunt.

“We are not out on a witch hunt; we are not targeting anyone or family for a witch hunt; it is not only Mrs Jonathan that is being investigated. Many people are answering questions in various places.

“Those found guilty will be charged before a competent court of law; those who have nothing to hide should have no fear because we shall not victimise anyone that is innocent,” the source told NAN, craving anonymity. (NAN)

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Patience Jonathan Dares EFCC, Recovers N2b Hotel |The Republican News

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The hotel complex of Dame Patience Jonathan, off the Mabushi Kado Expressway, Abuja

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

Patience, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, has recovered her N2bn hotel which was sealed off by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in June, The PUNCH has learnt.

In June, the EFCC placed the red inscriptions, ‘EFCC Under Investigation’ all over the hotel which is located near Setraco Construction Company, off the Mabushi Kado Expressway.

However, when our correspondent visited the five-storey building recently, the EFCC inscriptions had been covered with patches of grey paint.

When our correspondent knocked on the gate, three men who attended to him said they acted on the instruction of Mrs Jonathan.

When asked if they had the right to enter the building, one of them said, “Go and ask the EFCC if they had the right to put their sign all over the building in the first place. If you want more information, go and ask madam.”

The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said he did not know much about the seizure of the building and thus could not say if it had been returned to Patience or not.

He said, “I have spoken to the appropriate people but I was not able to get any answer on the matter.”

A source at the EFCC said it was wrong of Patience to have erased the EFCC inscription from the building.

He said, “Sometimes when we are investigating some politically exposed persons, they immediately begin to sell off their buildings in order to cover their tracks and run away with the cash so that is why we put EFCC signs on the buildings so that innocent people will not buy those buildings.

“As it is, she has removed the inscriptions and can quickly sell it off.”

Although the hotel has not been officially valued by the EFCC, some estate agents within the community told our correspondent that the property should be worth about N2bn.

The property, which has not yet been officially opened, has between 50 and 100 rooms, a gym, a fountain and other amenities.

In his reaction, Mrs Jonathan’s lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), said he was not aware of the seizure of the property.

Adedipe said if the hotel in question was indeed seized through a court order, then the removal of the EFCC inscriptions would be of no effect.

He, however, boasted that all properties and funds seized from the former first lady would be returned to her soon.

The senior advocate revealed that Mrs Jonathan had dragged the EFCC before a high court in Abuja and the matter would soon come up for a mention.

Adedipe said, “I am not aware of the seizure of property. If the EFCC seal was removed from the property, let them go and put another one. In any case, we have sued the EFCC for abuse of her human rights and human dignity. The matter is pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja and everything has been included in that suit.

“We are challenging all the seizures because, without prejudice to our case, Mrs Jonathan was neither a public officer nor a contractor. So, the idea of harassing her beats my imagination.

“I don’t see the basis for the EFCC’s harassment of that woman and the case wears a political toga because she was a formidable element during the campaign.”

Patience first came under EFCC investigation in May 2016 when the commission arrested a former Special Adviser to the President on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa.

Mrs Jonathan laid claim to about $15m found in bank accounts allegedly belonging Dudafa’s domestic servants.

She subsequently sued Skye Bank Plc and the EFCC. The commission then went ahead to freeze her personal account with a balance of $5m.

The anti-graft agency had also frozen bank accounts belonging to her relatives and friends including business mogul, Bola Shagaya.

Her husband, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, had complained about the harassment of his wife by the commission while Patience had also written a petition to the House of Representatives asking the lawmakers to caution the EFCC and stop harassing her and her relatives.  (Punchng.com)

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Patience Jonathan Petitions Reps, Alleges Harassment By EFCC, NDLEA |RN

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                        Patience Jonathan

 

John Ameh, Abuja

Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience, has petitioned the House of Representatives, seeking protection against alleged “relentless” harassment by agents of the Federal Government, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Mrs Jonathan also listed the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency and the Federal Inland Revenue Service among agencies of the government that were allegedly harassing her.

She alleged that the agencies had continued to attack her and her associates since her husband left office in May 2015.

Mrs Jonathan’s petition was laid before the House in Abuja on Thursday by a lawmaker from Rivers State, Mr Gogo Bright-Tamuno, on behalf of her lawyers, Granville Abibo.

The House, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, admitted the petition and referred it to the Committee on Public Petitions for hearing.

She claimed that on many occasions, the EFCC’s Acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, ordered raids to be carried out on property linked to her or her relations in a bid to ridicule her.

She stated that the raids were in addition to the freezing of all her bank accounts, non-governmental organisations and those of companies owned by her relations in violation of legal procedures.

Mrs Jonathan further alleged that raids on her property were often carried out in the absence of the occupants of such properties with “spurious” court orders.

The former President’s wife complained that she had yet to know why out of all the “former first ladies” in Nigeria, she was the only one singled out for harassment by the agents of the Federal Government.

The petitioner cited 13 of such instances, one of which she said was the February 2017 report against her by Magu to the authorities in the United Kingdom to “forestall the renewal of her visa and other travelling documents.”

Mrs Jonathan also alleged that there were assassination attempts on her life twice between February and April by EFCC agents.

The petition partly read, “Only recently, on the 8th and 9th June 2017, the EFCC commenced another fresh orchestration of raids on the personal properties of the NGOs of our client situate at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Expressway, Mabuchi by Setraco Junction, Abuja and ransacked the building.

“They placed seals around it, all without any lawful court order or summons.

“The recent action has agitated the urgent need for this petition to your office. The harassment against our client has persisted unabated.” (Punchng.com)

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EFCC To Declare Patience Jonathan’s Ally Wanted Over N9bn Account |The Republican News

                                                            Dame Patience Jonathan

 

ENIOLA AKINKUOTU

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has launched a manhunt for one Esther Oba, an alleged accomplice of Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

This comes less than three weeks after Patience asked the House of Representatives to protect her and her associates from EFCC harassment.

A senior detective at the EFCC told SUNDAY PUNCH that if the commission failed to find her before the end of January, she would be declared wanted.

It was learnt that the move had become necessary as part of investigations into a fresh N9bn found in accounts linked to Mrs. Jonathan.

The source explained that Oba is believed to be fronting for Patience.

He added that due to the existence of Bank Verification Number, it had become difficult for politically exposed persons to keep huge sums of money in their accounts.

He said, “After we froze Patience Jonathan’s accounts a few months ago, we continued to investigate the former first lady. We then stumbled on about five accounts which did not bear her name but had her signature.

“We realised that one Esther Oba had been operating some accounts for her. The accounts had Oba’s BVN but carried Patience’s signature. This is a clear case of fraud.

“We have been trying to invite the woman but we have not been able to locate her. If in the next two weeks we do not see her, we will have no choice but to declare her wanted and put up her picture in every newspaper in Nigeria.”

It will be recalled that Justice Mojisola Olatoregun-Ishola had recently granted an order freezing bank accounts allegedly belonging to Patience with over N9bn lodged in them. (Punchng.com)

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