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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Seized $15m: Women Protesters Storm Court Again For Patience Jonathan

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More than a hundred women dressed in flamboyant attires on Monday morning stormed the Federal High Court in Lagos where the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, filed a N200m lawsuit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and five others.

Patience filed the suit to reclaim a sum of $15m, which the EFCC seized from four companies last year.

The companies were linked to a former Special Assistant to ex-President Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.

The EFCC froze the accounts of the companies last July in the course of probing Dudafa, who has now been charged with money laundering.

Since Patience filed the suit seeking to take possession of the $15m late last year, the protesting women had been a regular feature on the court premises located along Oyinkan Abayomi Drive in Ikoyi each time the case came up for hearing.

On Monday, like during the previous hearing days, the women, who were dressed in different colours of lace, ‘ankara’ fabrics and red or yellow headgears, turned the court premises into a carnival ground of sorts.

Meanwhile, the proceedings in the case before Justice Mohammed Idris was stalled on Monday as the EFCC refused to accept the service of a new application filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who just came into the case as the lawyer for the 4th and 5th defendants.

Apart from the EFCC, the other defendants in the suit are Skye Bank Plc, Dudafa, and the four companies linked to him.

The companies are Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd and Avalon Global Property Development Ltd.

Ozekhome filed the fresh application in response to the counter-affidavit filed by Skye Bank Plc.

A lawyer, Mr. Amajuoyi Briggs, who deposed to the affidavit in support of the fresh application, said he had engaged Ozekhome to represent two of the companies.

“The said Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has accepted the engagement and will henceforth represent and defend the said 4th and 5th defendants herein,” Briggs said.

He claimed that he was the secretary to the two companies, adding that he was the one who incorporated them.

“To the best of my knowledge, all through the period that I served as the companies’ secretary, up till the time that I was charged with the companies in charge number FHC/L/337/C/16, the companies did not engage in any profitable business during the period in question,” Briggs said.

The EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, however, refused to accept the service of the new application from Ozekhome in court.

Punch