EFCC in fresh moves to seize Patience Jonathan’s funds
Court freezes lawyer’s account over alleged N40m fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday made fresh moves to seize funds allegedly linked to Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
The anti-graft agency, at the Federal High Court, Lagos raised an ex parte application seeking the temporary forfeiture of the funds, which include $8,435,788.84 and over N7.35billion in 15 bank accounts.
The move was, however, interrupted by the defence lawyers, led by two senior advocates of Nigeria, Ifedayo Adedipe and Mike Ozekhome.
The defendant challenged the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the ex parte application.
They also told the presiding Justice Mojisola Olatoregun that the funds, which the EFCC is seeking to seize, were already subject of litigation.
But counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, maintained that the defence counsels had no right of hearing in the court, since his application was ex parte.
He urged the judge to disregard their appearance, which she upheld.
Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case till January 23, 2018 and directed the EFCC to file an affidavit to convince her that there were no pending lawsuits relating to the funds.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday froze the account of a lawyer, Laitan Fawehinmi, over alleged N40 million fraud.
Justice Ibrahim Buba made the order following an ex-parte application filed against Laitan by EFCC.
The EFCC’s counsel, Murtala Usman, had asked the court for an order empowering its executive chairman or any of its officers to facilitate the action.
He asked that the bank be made to freeze the account pending the conclusion of investigation on the alleged fraud.
This was contained in an affidavit supporting the originating summons, deposed to by an investigator, Abdulrahman Ajigbotosho.
According to him, his team received a petition from Emollient Law Practice, on October 18, 2017 on behalf of K-Solaring Investiment Limited.
He alleged that Fawehinmi fraudulently obtained N40 million from K-Solaring Investiment Limited, under the pretence of having the authority and mandate to sell a plot of land, lying and situated at Abijo, Ibeju-Lekki in Lagos State.
The deponent further stated that after the money was paid, the defendant failed to allow the complainant to take possession of the said property.
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