Politics

Bombarded with graft allegations, Mrs. Jonathan begs EFCC for out of court settlement

Bombarded with graft allegations, Mrs. Jonathan begs EFCC for out of court settlement

Apparently tired of the barrage of corruption allegations the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has continued to level on her in courts, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, has begged for out of court settlement.

Since President Muhammadu Buhari won her husband in the 2015 general elections, the former First Lady and some of her relatatives have had to face different alleged graft offences in courts.

However, in a January 30, 2018 letter titled, “Proposal for out-of-Court Settlement of all cases related to Dame (Mrs.) Ibifaka Patience Jonathan,” she told the EFCC of her intention to settle the matter out of court.

The letter was drafted by her counsel, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), and is currently being considered by the anti-graft agency.

“As senior counsel, representing Dame (Mrs.) Patience Jonathan (former First Lady) and companies linked to her and some family members, associates, companies and NGOs, we have thought it fit to engage your commission in a discussion over all issues involving her and the commission with a view to having amicable resolution of all cases as stated above.

“This will enable both sides create an atmosphere for mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. We will therefore appreciate it, if you can give us an appointment at your earliest convenience to have a discussion over all matters involving her and members of her family.

“We believe that an amicable settlement will be in the best interest of both your commission and our client.

“We assure you of our utmost commitment and sincerity of purpose in this connection, and we solicit your cooperation in this regard. Please, accept the assurances of our warm regards,” the letter read.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Jonathan on Tuesday accused the EFCC of making great mockery of the judicial system.

She stated this before the Federal High Court in Lagos, asking the court to strike out an ex-parte application filed against her by the EFCC, which seeks temporary forfeiture of her $8,435,788.84 and N7.35 billion.

She further prayed the court for an order striking out the motion filed by the anti-graft agency last December on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it.

She told the court that the EFCC’s motion was “a gross abuse of court process” because the issues were already pending before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

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“The ex parte originating summons filed by the EFCC amounts to forum shopping, thus an abuse of court process.”

The case was earlier scheduled for Monday but was adjourned till this Tuesday (today), due to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Olatoregun.

Lawyers to wife of the former President Jonathan, Adedipe, and Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, contended when the trial resumed on Tuesday that the same application had earlier been filed by the EFCC before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the court’s Lagos division, upon which it had obtained an ex-parte order.

She said the same application was before Justice Nyako “over same parties to be affected by this same application.”

According her, the EFCC failed to disclose the different suits and orders made prior to filing the application before Justice Olatoregun in Lagos.

“The respondent is making great mockery of this judicial system and by extension this court,” she said.

 

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