Patience Jonathan Begs FG To Return Her Money As EFCC Moves For Final Forfeiture Of Seized $5.7m
The former First lady of Nigeria, Patience Goodluck Jonathan, has pleaded with the Federal government and the Nigerian Anti-graft agency to release her Seized $5.7m and N2.4bn.
Naija News recalls that the anti-graft agency (EFCC) had continually asked the federal high court at several occasion for the permission to finally seize the money and from the wife of ex Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
In its recent request, yesterday, the anti-graft agency Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made the plea again, claiming that the money is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Patience Goodluck Jonathan, through her lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), in her defence urged Justice Mojisola Olatoregun to dismiss the application by the EFCC, praying that the money be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
Adedipe argued that it was wrong for the EFCC to tag the money as proceeds of crime, when Patience had committed no crime and when nobody complained that their money was missing.
The SAN said the funds were cash gifts which Patience received when her husband was in office.
Adedipe said such gifts were normal, pointing out that even the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, was seeking to build a university.
The lawyer contended that Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud, which EFCC relied upon to seize Patience’s funds, was only applicable to fraudsters.
“It is not the law that if the EFCC finds money in an account and it doesn’t like the owner’s face, it comes to court and says ‘forfeit it’.
“The government is at liberty to apply for forfeiture but the offence must be stated.“The first respondent is a wife to a former deputy governor, governor, Vice President, and President.
“Even the current occupier of the office of the First Lady wants to build a university.
“In this country, First Ladies enjoy a lot of goodwill. She (Patience) stated that governors gave her money. Nobody wrote that she stole their money,” the SAN said.
Adedipe said there was no justification for the money to be forfeited to the Federal Government as the EFCC had not proved that Patience stole money from the government or any individual.