Court adjourns EFCC’s suit on forfeiture of Patience Jonathan’s $5.7m to FG
NAN The absence of Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court Lagos on Wednesday stalled proceedings on an application seeking permanent forfeiture of 5.7 million dollars belonging to former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan.
The case could not proceed as judges of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court were attending a valedictory session in honour of retired Chief Judge, Ibrahim Auta.
The case has now been fixed for Nov. 13.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had on May 22 suspended proceedings in the case.
Justice Olatoregun stayed proceedings pending the outcome of an appeal challenging the temporary forfeiture of the money.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is asking the court to order that the cash be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge, had on April 26, made an interim order forfeiting the money based on an application by the EFCC.
Justice Olatoregun had also ordered the temporary forfeiture of N2.4 billion found in the name of La Wari Furniture and Baths Ltd.
The commission said the money also belongs to Mrs Jonathan.
Jonathan’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), had said he filed an application for a stay of proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.
Counsel to La Wari Furniture and Baths, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said once an appeal had been entered, the lower court ought to stay proceedings.
Justice Olatoregun held that it would be in the interest of justice to await the Court of Appeal’s decision.
Mrs Jonathan, in the notice of appeal, is asking the court to hold that the law cited by the EFCC in its ex-parte application for the temporary forfeiture of the money was inapplicable.