Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to strike out an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking temporary forfeiture of her $8,435,788.84 and N7.35billion.
She is praying the court for an order striking out the motion filed last December 13 on the ground that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear it.
Mrs. Jonathan said the motion was â€œa gross abuse of court processâ€ because the issues were already pending before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
â€œThe ex-parte originating summons filed by the EFCC amounts to forum shopping, thus an abuse of court process,â€ she said.
Through her lawyer Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Mrs Jonathan said the same application had earlier been filed by the EFCC before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the courtâ€™s Lagos division, upon which it had obtained an exparte order.
She said the same application was before Justice Nyako â€œover same parties to be affected by this same application.â€
The former first lady said EFCC allegedly failed to disclose the different suits and orders made prior to filing the application before Justice Olatoregun in Lagos.
â€œThe respondent is making great mockery of this judicial system and in extension this honourable court,â€ Mrs. Jonathan said.
In a supporting affidavit, a lawyer in Ozekhomeâ€™s chambers, Chimaobi Onuigbo, said EFCC knowing that its application had been challenged in Abuja, filed the one in Lagos.
â€œThe respondent upon knowing that their application had been challenged has come to this court to seek same relief over same accounts and parties that it has filed same application against in all the suits already mentioned.
â€œThey have never been invited, investigated, charged or convicted by any court after same accounts have remained frozen for over one year and two months.
â€œI know that the applicant will never disclose these gross abuse of the judicial process of this court to this honourable court as this same matter is pending before four different courts of concurrent jurisdiction,â€ the deponent said.
The respondents in EFCCâ€™s motion are Mrs Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services, Finchley Top Homes Ltd, AM PM Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil and Gas Nig. Ltd, Magel Resort Ltd and Esther Oba.
EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, had at the last hearing, informed Justice Olatoregun that he had filed an affidavit showing that all monies seeking to be forfeited were not subject of litigation in any court.
He said the coast was clear to hear the forfeiture application, adding: â€œThe application we filed in Lagos is for forfeiture and it is not pending before any court other in Nigeria.â€
EFCC said the funds, which it believes were diverted from Bayelsa State, were found in 15 bank accounts linked to Mrs. Jonathan.
According to the commission, the funds were allegedly moved from Bayelsa Stateâ€™s coffers when Mrs. Jonathan served as permanent secretary.
The commission alleged that she gained access to the funds by fraudulently assuming the identity of one Esther Oba as the signatory to the accounts.
Hearing was stalled in the case yesterday due to Justice Olatoregunâ€™s absence.
The case is fixed for tomorrow for hearing.