Court Orders Former First Lady to Forfeit One Billion Naira

Patience Jonathan, former first lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been asked to forfeit one billion naira to the Federal Government.

This was done by a court order secured by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The forfeiture order was given by the presiding Justice, Justice A. Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Kano State. This is consequent upon the motion ex parte filed by EFCC seeking for the interim forfeiture of the money.

According to a statement given by the EFCC, the money was found in the bank account of Magel Resort Limited. The company is allegedly linked to Patience Jonathan and was lodged in three deposits with Fidelity Bank PLC on the 20th and 25th of May, 2015.

Tony Orilade, Acting Head of Media and Publicity EFCC in a statement said that the commission had gotten an intel that a bank account in Fidelity Bank had a huge sum of money that nobody was using. EFCC swung into action after receiving the intel and conducted investigations which revealed that the former first lady and some relatives of the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, were directors of the company.

According to This Day, others include Oba Tamunotonye, Goodluck Jonathan Arueya, Goodluck Jonathan Ariwabai, and Esther Fynface.

In trying to trace the origin of the money, it was discovered that N500,000 was deposited by Fynface on May 20, 2015, who is alleged to be in charge of the company while N1billion was transferred in two tranches on May 25, 2015 from Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd, a company that was not incorporated with the corporate affairs commission”, Orilade said.

Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa held that an interim forfeiture order is granted to the Federal Government in the sum of one billion, four hundred and ninety four naira only in the bank account in the first respondent, Magel Resort Limited, which is maintained with the second respondent, Fidelity Bank PLC.

The court also ordered that the forfeited sum be deposited in the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.

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