A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday, has fixed March 28, for the hearing of final forfeiture application of the sum of 845,316.66 million USD and N2,421,953,522.78 billion, said to belong to the former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
Justice Tijjani Ringim fixed the date sequel to the argument of counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC Mr Rotimi Oyedepo SAN.
Defence counsels Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN and Sammie Somiari SAN had applied to the court that that case be adjourned sinadie pending the outcome of appeal.
First and second defendants are La Wari Furniture and Baths Limited and former first lady, Patience Jonathan.
But in a swift reaction Oyedepo opposed the application owing to the fact that Supreme Court ruled that the final forfeiture application be heard which is binding in any other court.
“My Lord the only motion ripe for hearing which is binding on my Lord in view of Supreme Court judgement is that of final forfeiture”.
Justice Ringim, after taken arguments from counsel, upheld Oyedepo’s submissions and directed that motion for final forfeiture will be taken and determined first as canvassed by the EFCC counsel.
Consequently the judge adjourned the case to March 28, for the hearing of application for final forfeiture.
It would be recalled that Justice Cecilia Mojisola Olatoregun, now retired, had on April 26, 2017, while granting Exparte application for the interim forfeiture of the said sums filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), ordered that the said sums which were warehoused by Skye Bank and Ecobank Nigeria Plc, be forfeited in the interim.
The order was vigorously challenged up to Supreme Court but the Supreme Court ordered that the lower court should continue with the hearing of the matter.
However, upon Justice Olatoregun’s retirement, the suit was transferred to Justice (Professor) Chuka Obiozor.
But before Justice Obiozor could preside over the matter, he was transferred to another jurisdiction of the court, consequently, the matter was inherited by Justice Ringim.