Court adjourns Patience Jonathan’s $15.591m case till Jan 19


The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday adjourned hearing of former First Lady Mrs. Patience Jonathan’s suit seeking to unfreeze her accounts till January 19.

The accounts are said to have $15.5 million in them.

Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned to enable the former first lady’s lawyers to respond to an objection by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mrs. Jonathan is praying the court to discharge a no debit order placed on the accounts.

The judge on May 8 held that Mrs. Jonathan and other parties must give oral evidence on the money’s ownership.

According to him, all the defendants’ counter-affidavits contain disputed facts that could not be decided without oral evidence.

He directed them to file pleadings, which they did.

The EFCC had urged the court not to unfreeze the accounts because the money was suspected to be “proceed of crime”.

Jonathan’s former aide Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd and Avalon Global Property Development Ltd are the other respondents.

The companies, through their representatives, had pleaded guilty to laundering the money last September 15 when they were arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi of the same court.

They were charged along with Dudafa, Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku, for allegedly laundering the money.

Unlike the companies, Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty to the 17-count charge.

In a supporting affidavit to her application, Mrs. Jonathan’s aide, Sammie Somiari, said Dudafa helped the former first lady to open the accounts around March 2010.

The deponent claimed Mrs. Jonathan was the sole signatory to the accounts and that she had no relationship with the companies.