The decision of the Federal High Court in Lagos, which ordered the interim forfeiture of a sum of $5.9m found in Mrs. Patience Jonathan’s Skye Bank account was upheld by the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division on Friday.
The appellate court, in a lead judgment by Justice Mojeed Owoade, threw out the ex-President’s wife’s appeal challenging the forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government.
It held that the appeal lacked merit.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court in Lagos had, in April last year, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the funds after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission argued that the money was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of fraud.
Apart from Patience’s personal account with $5.9m, the judge also froze a number of accounts linked with her including an Ecobank account with a balance of N2.4bn opened in the name of one La Wari Furniture and Bath Limited.
But efforts to secure an order for the permanent forfeiture of the money was opposed by Patience, through her lawyer, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN).
Also, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on behalf of La Wari Furniture and Bath Limited, opposed the permanent forfeiture of the funds in its client’s account.
The two lawyers subsequently went on appeal, seeking to overturn the temporary forfeiture order and recover the funds.
But the appellate court on Friday dismissed their appeals.
The EFCC had, in an affidavit it filed before Justice Olatoregun, said its investigation revealed that Patience opened the Skye Bank account on February 7, 2013, and used it to allegedly “warehouse proceeds of crime.”
According to an operative of the EFCC, Musbahu Abubakar, the former first lady made several cash deposits in United States dollar into the account, through a former Special Assistant to ex-President Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa; and a State House steward, Festus Iyoha.
He said as of January 30, 2015, the Skye Bank account had a balance of $6.7m, but Patience subsequently withdrew it down to $5.9m.
The EFCC had prayed the court to urgently freeze the account so as to prevent Patience from moving the funds.
Justice Olatoregun had then granted the interim forfeiture order and adjourned till May 22, 2017 for anyone interested in the funds to appear before her to show cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )
El-Rufai Imposes 24-hour Curfew On Seven Communities In Kaduna
Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has declared a 24-hour curfew in some communities in Kaduna South and Chikun Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan announced this is a statement on Saturday.
Although the reason for the restriction was not stated, it follows the looting of warehouses – where COVID-19 palliatives were reportedly stored by the government – by residents.
Residents were said to have trooped to Gwari Avenue where they discovered a warehouse and immediately forced it open and carted away food items.
Reacting to the development, the government directed security agencies involved to arrest and prosecute anyone found violating the curfew, and those responsible for the breakdown of law and order as well as looting and destroying properties.
The affected communities include Barnawa, Kakuri, and Television in Kaduna South LGA, and Maraban Rido, Sabon Tasha, Narayi, and Ungwan Romi of Chikun LGA.
#ENDSARS: IGP Talks Tough, Says Enough Is Enough
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate deployment of operational assets and resources to bring an end to the nationwide unrest.
Following the shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday, there has been serious unrest in the country which has led to the destruction and looting of properties.
The IGP gave the order in a statement issued by Police spokesman, DCP Frank Mba on Saturday
The Police Chief asked all Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), Heads of Police Operational Units, Squadron and Base Commanders in charge of Zonal/State/FCT Commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, and the Special Protection Unit, to immediately restore order.
He ordered the police head to personally lead and coordinate the operation and use all legitimate means, to halt a further slide into lawlessness and brigandage.
Nobel Laureate, Soyinka Denies Video Claim On Igbo, Yoruba
Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has called on Igbo indigenes to ignore threats asking them to leave Yorubaland.
In a video circulating on social media, Grandson Adeyinka, a UK-based Nigerian, called on Igbo indigenes to leave south-west states.
In the video, Adeyinka issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Igbo, warning that those who refuse to leave will be dealt with.
However, Soyinka, reacting to the video, condemned the message, saying the threat “is the work of sick, cowardly minds.”
Soyinka called on social media platforms to stop giving publicity to people who peddle fake news, especially ones targeted at creating ethnic tension.
Soyinka’s remark was contained in a statement he titled ‘Identity Thieves on the Rampage.’
“Undoubtedly in order to promote the video clip of an ethnic revanchist calling on Igbo to leave Yoruba land, this same lunatic fringe has exhumed, and embarked on circulating an ancient fabrication – several years mouldering in the grave – once attributed to me and vigorously denounced,” Mr Soyinka said.
“That statement impudently expounds, as my utterance, what the Hausa want, what the Yoruba want, and what the Igbo want. Such an attribution – let me once again reiterate – is the work of sick, cowardly minds that are ashamed, or lack the courage, as the saying goes, ‘to answer their fathers’ names. At least the current ethnic rabble-rouser has the courage of his convictions, not so the sick brigade of identity thieves.
“Normally, one should totally ignore the social dregs. However, in the present atmosphere where fake news is so easily swallowed and acted upon without reflection, I feel once again obliged to denounce this recurrent obscenity.
“As for our brother and sister Igbo, I hope they have learnt to ignore the toxic bilge under which some Nigerian imbeciles seek to drown the nation.”
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