The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss a suit by wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.
In its counter-affidavit to the suit, the commission said the $15.5 million which Mrs Jonathan claims belongs to her is “a proceed of crime”.
Mrs. Jonathan, in the civil suit before Justice Mohammed Idris, is claiming that EFCC froze four of her accounts with Skye Bank in the name of four companies.
The accounts, she said, have a balance of $15,591,700 (about N5 billion) belonging to her.
But, the companies, on September 15, pleaded guilty and were convicted for laundering the money when they were arraigned in a criminal charge before Justice Babs Kuewumi.
The judge, however, refused to order the money’s forfeiture to the Federal Government until the trial of the others named in the charge was concluded.
The companies are: Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd (represented by Friday Davis), Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd (represented by Agbor Baro), Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd (represented by Dioghowori Frederick) and Avalon Global Property Development Ltd (represented by Taiwo Ebenezer).
EFCC arraigned them with a former Special Adviser
on Domestic Affairs to President Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, a lawyer, Amajuoyi Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku.
Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty to the 17-count charge.
Mrs. Jonathan, in the suit before Justice Idris, is seeking an order to de-freeze the accounts and release her money. Her lawyer, Adedipe told Justice Idris that his client amended her processes. He said he also filed a motion to regularise them, which the court granted.
EFCC’s lawyer, Oyedepo
Rotimi, said he would also amend his response
to the suit.
Justice Idris said: “Leave will be granted to the respondent (EFCC) to file any amended process.”
Rotimi accused the applicant of changing the companies’ address through which the suit was purportedly
served on them. Mrs Jonathan joined
the companies in her suit.
The EFCC lawyer said: “We are of the opinion that if you want to change the address of a party, it should not the adversary who will change the address of another party.
“What we saw was the applicant was changing the address of the other defendants and I don’t think that is tidy.”
The judge adjourned the case to January 18.