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Patience Jonathan Defeats EFCC

Dame Patience Jonathan has defeated the EFCC as the Federal High Court in Abuja has vacated an order it made on May 30, freezing 16 separate bank accounts linked to wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Justice Binta Nyako lifted the order that barred Mrs. Jonathan and 10 different organizations connected to her, from having access to the bank accounts containing aggregate sums of $5.8million and N3.5billion. The court took the decision after it heard an application that Mrs. Jonathan and the 10 companies filed to challenge an ex-parte order that granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, interim ownership of funds in the accounts.

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The companies that were cited as co-applicants in the motion that the ex-first lady filed through her team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, were the Incorporated Trustees of Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation, Pagmat Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, Flinchley Top Homes Limited, Incorporated Trustees of Women for Change and Development Initiative Nigeria, Transocean Property and Investment Ltd, Seagate Property Development Investment Company, Globus Integrated Services and Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited. Justice Nyako upheld Ozekhome’s argument that the interim forfeiture order had elapsed and could not be renewed by the EFCC.

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The former first lady had insisted before the court that the anti-graft agency obtained the forfeiture order by an improper use of the judicial process. Mrs. Jonathan and the 10 firms told the court that the said interim forfeiture order, including a subsequent one that was issued on October 18, had since expired, with the EFCC, failing to establish a nexus between the applicants and any act of illegality