- The EFCC is asking a court to grant the permanent forfeiture of $8.4 million and N7.4 billion allegedly belonging to Patience Jonathan
- The former first lady was reportedly receiving salary after her retirement from the Bayelsa state civil service
- The anti-graft agency claimed she received N700,000 for seven months
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has claimed that Patience Jonathan who is the wife of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, continued to receive salary for seven months after retirement.
The former first lady retired from the Bayelsa State Civil Service as a Permanent Secretary in October 2014 but it was reported that she continued to receive N700,000 as salary for seven months.
The Nation reports that the anti-graft agency stated this at the Federal High Court in Lagos during hearing of a forfeiture case it brought against the former first lady.
The agency is asking the court to order the final forfeiture of $8.4 million and N7.4 billion allegedly belonging to her.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun who presided over the case declined to grant EFCC’s application for final forfeiture but directed parties to give oral evidence to justify ownership.
The judge had last April 20 ordered the funds “temporary forfeiture to the federal government.”
Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd, Magel Resort Ltd and Esther Oba are the respondents.
Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who are her lawyers argued that the funds included donations and legitimate earnings by the companies linked to her.
The lawyers called a former Head of Service of Bayelsa state, Fraser Ogboru, as its first witness. He said he knew her before her husband became vice president but was not aware if her salary was stopped or not.
During cross-examination by EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, he said he would be surprised to learn she was still earning salary after her retirement.
Ogboru said a permanent secretary’s monthly salary “was about N700,000 while the gratuity upon retirement was just over N20 million.”
Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to May 24.
Recall that Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Friday, March 15, affirmed the interim forfeiture of N2.4 billion allegedly traced to Patience Jonathan.
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The interim forfeiture order was earlier granted by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
This is the second time Patience Jonathan would forfeit huge sums in just days following the ruling of the Supreme Court.
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