A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned the suit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to permanently have $5.8 million belonging to Nigeria’s most hilarious immediate past First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan forfeited to the Federal Government till May 22, 2017 by the.
The case, which came up on Monday before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun was adjournment based on a contention of the counsel to Mrs Jonathan, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), that the respondent was not given adequate notice to file a reply. The EFCC had approached the court with an ex parte application demanding for a forfeiture of the sum to government, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
Following that Application, the court on April 26 issued an interim order for forfeiture of the money belonging to Mrs Jonathan to the Federal Government and further instructed that the ruling be advertised in a national daily to allow any interested party to appear and show cause why the interim order should not be made final. However, upon the resumption of the case on Monday, counsel to the respondent, Adedipe notified the court of a notice of Appeal he had filed against the court’s judgment as well as a motion for stay of further proceedings.
He contended that the ant-graft agency ought to have waited to abide by the decision of the court of appeal in respect of the matter. He further said that the publication of the court’s order in the national daily was only carried out on May 11, a period of time which he argued, was too short to allow for the filing of any response.
Replying, EFCC lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the business of the day was for any interested party to appear and show cause. He argued that the respondent’s submission fell outside the purview of the court’s business with respect to the matter at hand and prayed the court to continue on the matter. But Justice Olatoregun, in her observation, held that the suit will only be adjourned on the ground that the time frame of the said publication was short. Sequel upon this, the matter was adjourned till May 22, for the respondent or any interested party to appear and show cause why the interim forfeiture order should not be made permanent.