Great Victory For The Jonathans, As Federal High Court Delivers Powerful Judgement In Favour Of Patience Jonathan, Shames Buhari’s FG

By Post Nigeria January 22, 2018 22:17

Great Victory For The Jonathans, As Federal High Court Delivers Powerful Judgement In Favour Of Patience Jonathan, Shames Buhari’s FG

The Federal High Court, in Abuja, on Monday, has ordered an inquiry into the alleged illegal demolition of a property linked to Patience Jonathan, wife of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA.

Recall, that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had earlier approached the court for an order of interim attachment/forfeiture of assets and properties of the pet foundation in which the property operates.

In an ex-parte motion that was signed by its Lawyer, Mr. Benjamin Manji, the anti-graft Agency prayed the court to grant it the ownership of Plot No. 1960, Cadastral Zone A05 Maitama District and Plot No. 1350, Cadastral Zone A00, in Abuja. The anti-graft agency equally sought for “an order stopping any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation, or otherwise of the property/asset”.

However, Patience Jonathan in a swift reaction, filed a motion to challenge the powers of the EFCC to take possession of assets of the foundation. She stated that she got wind of the EFCC’s plans and decided to file a counter-motion in opposition to the interim forfeiture order request. She then prayed the court to strike out the EFCC’s ex-parte originating motion, dated September 20, 2017, on the ground that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the application, which she said was legally defective.

Meanwhile, when the case came up for hearing on Monday, Mrs. Jonathan’s Lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), notified the court that the said property in contention had been demolished by an Agency of the Federal Government. Ozekhome who displayed some envelopes which he said contained video recordings and pictures of the demolition, said it was worrisome that the government, despite being aware that the case was in court, resorted to self-help. He equally produced some newspapers, which he said contained reports of the demolition.

At that juncture, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba demanded an explanation from the EFCC Counsel, Mr. Manji, who denied knowledge of the demolition, and maintained that the Agency was not aware of the development.

He said: “My lord, our mandate is clear, it does not include demolition. We need to confirm if the property is still in existence before we can proceed with our application for temporary forfeiture.”

Ozekhome however, agreed with the EFCC Lawyer on the need to ascertain the state of the property first before further steps could be taken on the case, even as he declared his intention to file an affidavit for the formal presentation of the video recording, pictures, and newspaper publications of the demolition before the court.

Consequently, Justice Dimgba adjourned the proceedings to enable parties to the suit to report back to the court on the alleged demolition. The Judge said the court could not act without first ascertaining whether or not the property in question had been destroyed.

His words: “I will adjourn for the claim that the property has been demolished to be ascertained, to enable the court to know what proper steps should be taken”.

The case was subsequently adjourned to February 26, 2018

 

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