Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed
another order of the Lagos Division of
the Federal High Court for the interim
forfeiture of a sum of N 2 . 4 bn allegedly
traced to the wife of former President
Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs . Patience
Jonathan.
The apex court , had on March 8 ,
barely a week ago, affirmed a similar
order of interim forfeiture of the sum
of $ 8 .4 m belonging to the ex- First
Lady.
It had, also in the said judgment ,
directed her to return to the Federal
High Court in Lagos to show cause why
the fund should not be permanently
forfeited to the Federal Government.
On Friday, in a separate appeal , a
five - man bench of the apex court
unanimously handed down a similar
verdict affirming an interim forfeiture
of the sum of N2 ,421 ,953 , 522 in the
bank account of Lawari Furniture and
Bath Limited , a firm which the
Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission had linked to Mrs .
Jonathan.
The anti- graft agency had said the
various funds were suspected to be
proceeds of unlawful activities.
Lawari Furniture and Bath Limited
had, through its lawyers , Chief Mike
Ozekhome (SAN ), filed the appeal at
the Supreme Court to challenge a
January 12 , 2018 judgment of the
Court of Appeal in Lagos, which had
affirmed the interim forfeiture order
made on April 26 , 2017 by the Federal
High Court in Lagos in respect of the
N2 .4 bn .
The EFCC , through its lawyer , Mr.
Rotimi Oyedepo , had opposed the
appeal at the hearing before the
Supreme Court .
In the Friday’s lead judgment of the
Justice Tanko Muhammad - led panel of
the apex court , Justice Amiru Sanusi,
said there was no justification to
“ interfere with the concurrent
findings of the two lower courts.”
The lead judgment read by Justice Sidi
Bage on behalf of Justice Sanusi, who
was absent, stated that the apex court
would only interfere with concurrent
decisions of the lower courts only
when “ there is a special circumstance
where the decision is perverse or there
is misapplication of law or the facts” .
“ I have seen none of these in this
appeal, ” the judgement read , adding ,
“ I find no merit in this appeal and it is
accordingly dismissed” .
The court also rejected her prayer to
strike down the provisions of section
17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act and
other Fraud related offences Act,
which was relied on by the Federal
High Court to issue the order of
interim forfeiture.
In his concurring opinion , Justice
Ejembi Eko, a member of the apex
court’ s panel , noted that splitting of
the appeal from the one ruled upon
last week, was unnecessary.