The Federal High Court in Lagos has further adjourned hearing till May 24 in a suit seeking the permanent forfeiture of the sums of $5.7m and N2,421,953,522.78 allegedly belonging to wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.
The economic and financial crimes commission had on April 26, 2017 secured an interim forfeiture order of Justice Mojisola Olatoregun in respect of the funds.
Patience, through her lawyers, chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), challenged the interim forfeiture order up to the Supreme Court.
However, the apex court on March 15 rejected Patience’s plea that the interim forfeiture order be reversed.
Rather, the highest court in the land ordered her to return to the Federal High Court in Lagos to tell the judge reasons, if she has any, why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
At the Wednesday proceedings, counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, sought time to react to the processes filed and served on him by Patience’s lawyers in opposition to the forfeiture application.
We got their affidavit at 5.5pm yesterday (Tuesday). A plethora of exhibits were attached. Their affidavit is replete with new facts.
These are facts are weighty, so weighty that they require us to respond. We don’t want any of their facts to be deemed admitted because we did not respond.
“I was served with a bulky document which has things that were not part of the original application. I’m only saying that in the interest of justice, we need to react to those issues raised,” Oyedepo said.
While adjourning the matter till May 24, Justice Olatoregun said, “I hope parties realise that there must be an end to backward and forward filing of applications.”