Court orders temporary forfeiture of Patience Jonathan’s properties in Abuja

Chidi Samuel |

A federal high court in Abuja on Monday ordered an interim forfeiture of two houses allegedly linked to former Nigeria first lady, Patience Jonathan.

The forfeiture must last for only 45 days within which the anti-graft agency must conclude its investigations.

Nnamdi Dimgba, a judge, gave the order in a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He dismissed Jonathan’s objection to the application for lacking in merit.

The housed located at Plot No. 1960, Cadastral Zone A05, Maitama District, and Plot No. 1350, Cadastral Zone A00, Abuja, were said to be in the name of Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation, and has the former first lady as one of its trustees.

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The EFCC equally prayed the court for an order stopping any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the properties as the property was a subject matter of investigation, inquiry, and examination.

“An order authorising the EFCC to appoint competent person(s)/firm to manage the asset/property listed in the schedule herein, temporarily forfeited to the federal government pending the conclusion of investigation,” the anti-graft agency said.

Justice Dimgba, in his ruling on the ex parte motion, granted the EFCC a 45-day of grace period within which to investigate whether the property was acquired by Jonathan with proceeds of crime.

He said, “I have carefully considered the processes filed. I have also carefully considered the arguments.”

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“Accordingly, a period of 45 days is accorded to the EFCC to investigate whether the properties in question were acquired with the proceeds of crime.”