MORE TROUBLES FOR MAMA PEACE: Despite Crowd Of Women, Judge Refuses To Lift Order On Patience Jonathan’s $15.5m
DESPITE the crowd of women that besieged the Federal High Court located in Ikoyi, Lagos, for the second time in two weeks in solidarity with the wife of former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos has refused to restrain another judge of the High Court from taking steps in relation to the frozen $15.5m allegedly belonging to Patience Jonathan.
Mrs. Jonathan is presently locked in legal battles with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over her alleged frozen fund by the commission. The women who wore different T shirts numbering about 40 arrived at the court premises as early as 8.00 am sitting in groups waiting for the beginning of the matter slated for the day.
However, unlike the last time when they carried placards showing their solidarity for the ex-first lady, they were seen in groups sitting down in a rather subdued manner. They all waited until the matter ended at about noon.
However, Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos has refused to restrain another judge of the High Court from taking steps in relation to the frozen $15.5m allegedly belonging to Patience Jonathan. He declined an application by counsel representing the former first lady, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), who prayed for an order to restrain Justice Babs Keuwumi from taking further steps on the frozen sum. The lawyer had urged the court to stop Kuewumi from making any forfeiture orders, in respect of the said sum, which was frozen by the EFCC, until the determination of an interlocutory application on the subject. The former first lady had instituted a fundamental rights suit against the EFCC, claiming the sum of $200m as damages for inconveniences suffered. In her suit, she joined Skye Bank plc, and a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Warampo Dudafa as respondents. Also joined in the suit are four companies namely: Pluto Property Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd, Transocean company Ltd and Globus Integrated Service Ltd. Dudafa was charged alongside the four companies before Justice Keuwumi, on 15 counts of money laundering. Representatives of the four companies, which the EFCC claimed were used by Dudafa to launder the money, had all pleaded guilty to the offences. The $15.5m is the same sum which the former first lady claimed belongs to her as sole signatory to the accounts of the companies.
Jonathan is urging the court to issue an order discharging the freezing order, and restraining the EFCC and its agent from further placing a freezing order on the said accounts.
In a short ruling, Justice Idris held that he could not go into the merits or demerits of the interlocutory application, until it is moved. He ordered accelerated hearing of the case and said that he could not make any order that will be prejudicial to the outcome of the main suit. He consequently, adjourned the case to December 7 for hearing of the main application.