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THE Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday refused to make a counter-order on the forfeiture of the $15.5 million allegedly belonging to wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.
Justice Mohammed Idris declined a request by the former First Lady’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), to restrain Justice Babs Kuewumi from taken a further step with regards to the money.
Mrs. Jonathan said four of her frozen accounts with Skye Bank in the name of four companies have a balance of $15,591,700 (about N5 billion) belonging to her.
But, the companies, on September 15, pleaded guilty to laundering the money when they were arraigned before Justice Kuewumi.
The judge, however, refused to order its forfeiture to the Federal Government until the trial of the others named in the charge was concluded.
The companies are: Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd (represented by Friday Davis), Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd (represented by Agbor Baro), Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd (represented by Dioghowori Frederick) and Avalon Global Property Development Ltd (represented by Taiwo Ebenezer).
EFCC arraigned them with a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to President Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, a lawyer, Amajuoyi Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku.
Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty to the 17-count charge.
Mrs. Jonathan, in a separate suit against EFCC and Skye Bank, before Justice Idris, is seeking an order to de-freeze the accounts and release her money.
Yesterday, her lawyer Adedipe urged Justice Idris to stop Justice Kuewumi from making any order forfeiting the $15.591 million pending the determination of her application for interlocutory injunction.
Adedipe urged the court to direct the EFCC not to tamper with the “res” (subject matter) of the case pending the determination of the interlocutory application.
But, EFCC’s Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the application, saying: “We pray the court to dismiss the application with a wave of hand. There is an order of the court that have convicted the 4th-7th defendants for warehousing the proceeds of crime.”
According to him, it will be “extremely” prejudicial to the earlier order made by Justice Kuewumi in the criminal case.
Justice Idris refused to grant Adedipe’s oral application and adjourned till December 7 for hearing.
4:21 PM

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