Law News
Judge withdraws from Patience Jonathan’s appeal ‘for personal reasons’

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division Wednesday failed to hear an appeal by the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, seeking to stop the forfeiture of her $5.7million and N2, 421,953,522.78 to the Federal Government.

One of the three-man panel, the appellate court said, was recusing himself from hearing the appeal “for personal reasons.

It did not state which of the justices were withdrawing and what the reasons were.

Justice John Ikyeh, who presided over the appeal alongside Justices Abimbola Obaseki and Abrahim Georgewill, noted that three judges were required to form a quorum.

It adjourned till September 18 for hearing.

Mrs Patience’s appeal arose from an order obtained by the EFCC last April 26, from the Federal High Court in Lagos, temporarily forfeiting the cash to the government.

The commission told Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, who made the order, that the funds were suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

It said the N5.7m was part of the $6,791,599.64 (about N2.1billion) which Mrs Jonathan allegedly directed her aides to pay into her account between February 8, 2013 and January 30, 2015, while her husband was President.

Mrs. Jonathan, the commission said, had earlier spent $949, 282.98 (about N296, 141,911) from the money.

It said she also withdrew another $100,000 from the account in April, leaving a balance of $5,731,173.55.

Justice Olatoregun also ordered the temporary forfeiture of the N2, 421,953,522.78 found in an Ecobank Nigeria Ltd account numbered 2022000760 in the name of La Wari Furniture and Baths Ltd.

The commission said the money also belongs to Mrs Jonathan.

Source: Robert Egbe

The Nation

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