By Alex Enumah in Abuja
A Federal High Court sitting in Kano has ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sum of N1,000,494,000 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety Four Thousand Naira) traced to a bank account allegedly belonging to wife of former President, Patience Jonathan.
Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa, gave the order in a ruling on a motion ex parte filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking for the interim forfeiture of the money.
According to a statement by the EFCC, the said amount was found in the Bank account of Magel Resort Limited, a company linked to the former First Lady of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan and was lodged in three deposits with Fidelity Bank Plc on May 20 and 25, 2015.
Acting Head of Media and Publicity, EFCC, Tony Orilade, in the statement said the Commission had gotten an intel that a bank account domiciled in Fidelity Bank, had a huge sum of money that was not being used by anybody.
“Upon receipt of the intelligence, the EFCC swung into action by conducting preliminary investigation, which revealed that Patience and some relatives of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, were directors of the company. Others named as directors are Oba Oba Tamunotonye, Goodluck Jonathan Aruera, Goodluck Jonathan Ariwabai and Esther Fynface.
“In trying to trace the origin of the money, it was discovered that N500,000 was deposited on May 20, 2015 by Fynface, who is alleged to be in charge of the company, while N1 billion was transferred in two tranches on May 25, 2015 from Pagmat Oil And Gas Nigeria Limited, a company that was not incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission”, he said.
Ruling on the motion, Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa held that: “An interim forfeiture order is granted to the Federal Government in the sum of N1,000,494,000 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety Four Thousand Naira Only) in the bank account of the 1st respondent Magel Resort Limited 4011019546 which is maintained with 2nd respondent Fidelity Bank Plc”.
The court further ordered that the forfeited sum be deposited in the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.