Court orders temporary forfeiture of Patience Jonathan’s property
The property was linked to the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
The EFCC had filed an ex-parte motion seeking temporary forfeiture of some property allegedly belonging to Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation located at Plot No. 1758, Cadastral Zone, B06, Mabushi and Plot No.1350, Cadastral Zone, A00 Central Business District, Abuja.
In the application, the complainant/applicant prayed the court for an order of interim attachment/forfeiture of the assets and property set out in the schedule attached to the suit.
The anti-graft agency was equally seeking an order stopping any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the property/asset described in the attached herein: an order authorising EFCC to appoint competent person(s)/firm to manage the asset/property listed in the schedule herein, temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government pending the conclusion of investigation.
It stated that the application was predicated on the fact that the property were subject matter of investigation, enquiry and examination.
However, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, ruling on the commission’s ex-parte motion, gave the EFCC 45 days to investigate whether the property acquired by Mrs. Jonathan was done with the proceeds of crime.
He said: “I have carefully considered the processes filed. I have also carefully considered the arguments.
“Accordingly, a period of 45 days is accorded to the EFCC to investigate whether the property in question were acquired with the proceeds of crime.”
The judge also dismissed the motion challenging the originating summons.
Meanwhile, counsel to Patience Jonathan, Chief Mike Ozekhome, while reacting to the ruling, held that the position of the court was a victory for his client.
He said: “We did not lose. We won. What the EFCC wanted was for the property in dispute attached and forfeited to the government but the court refused and instead gave them 45 days to further investigate and prosecute if they so wish with liberty to apply for renewal.
“That is actually victory for us as the property was not forfeiture.”
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