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Breaking: Court orders forfeiture of N9.2bn, $8.4m belonging to Patience Jonathan

Breaking: Court orders forfeiture of N9.2bn, $8.4m belonging to Patience Jonathan

- Some monies linked to Patience Jonathan has been ordered to be forfeited to the federal government

- The funds were reportedly transferred to her account when she served in one of the ministries in Bayelsa

- The court asked interested parties to give reasons why the funds should not be permanently forfeited

Former first lady, Patience Jonathan, is going through trouble as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos granted an interim forfeiture of the sum of N9.2 billion and $8.4 million linked to her.

According to Channels TV, the money is to be forfeited to the federal government.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed an application before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.

The judge, however, asked the anti-graft agency to publish the “order in a national newspaper to give any interested party an opportunity to come before the court within 14 days to show cause why the sums should not be permanently forfeited”

Huleji Tukura who is an investigation for the EFCC claimed the fund was found in the account of the former first lady from Bayelsa state account and that the fund was moved when she served as permanent secretary in one of the ministries.

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It was reported that Mrs Jonathan first opened a bank account and then “procured” the then senior special assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on domestic affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, to fund the account with “proceeds of unlawful activities.”

According to report: “The said Dudafa Waripamo-Owei procured one, Festus Isidohomen Iyoha and Arivi Eneji Peter, who were domestic staff attached to the State House, Abuja, to deposit the funds, reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities, into account of the 1st respondent (Patience).

“In depositing the funds into the account of the 1st respondent, the said domestic staff, in a bid to conceal their identity, deposited the funds, reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful act, into the 1st respondent’s account, using fictitious names.

“The total sum of $4,036,750.00 (Four million, thirty-six thousand, seven hundred and fifty United States’ dollar) reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities, were deposited into account No. 2022648664 domiciled in a bank in the name of the 1st respondent.

“On the 28th day of September 2016, the 1st respondent, in dissipating the property sought to be forfeited, transferred the sum of $3,640,794.72 to the 1st respondent’s account No. 2031277178 domiciled in the bank.

“On the 5th day of October 2016, the 1st respondent withdrew the sum of $1,000,000.00 cash from the said account leaving the balance of the sum of $3,645,013.73 which sum we are urging this honourable court to forfeit in the interim to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

”As at the time the various sums were deposited in into exhibit EFCC01, the 1st respondent was a serving permanent secretary in the employment of the Bayelsa State Government.

“The funds sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria are not the 1st respondent’s lawful earnings but are rather reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.”

“The depositors into this account are domestic staff of State House, Abuja, who was procured by the said Dudafa Waripamo-Owei to deposit the funds sought to be forfeited in a bid to conceal the true origin of the funds.”

The case was adjourned till Friday, May 11.

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Meanwhile, a prosecution witness, Annette Gyen, on Monday, April 16, revealed before a Jos Federal High Court how a former water resources minister, Sarah Ochekpe, and two others withdrew money from a bank.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ochekpe, and the two others, Raymond Dabo who is a former chairman of the PDP in Plateau, and Leo Sunday Jatau, the coordinator of former president Goodluck Jonathan campaign in Plateau, are being tried by the EFCC for allegedly collecting N450 million from former petrol minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in 2015.

The report said the anti-graft agency is alleging that the trio collected N450 million from a bank manager, which exceeded the amount authorised by law.

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