The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has fixed November 3, 2017 to hear an appeal filed by the wife of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, against the temporary forfeiture of the sum of $5.9m found in her Skye Bank account.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos had ordered the temporary forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government.

The order came following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

An operative of the Commission, Musbahu Abubakar, who deposed to the affidavit,  had told the court that the former First Lady opened the Skye Bank account on February 7, 2013.

Abubakar had also told the court that the former First Lady made several  United States Dollars cash deposits into the account through a former Special Assistant to former President Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa  and a State House steward, Festus Iyoha.

Moving the application for the temporary forfeiture of the money, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, had prayed the court to urgently freeze the account  so as to prevent her from moving the funds.

In her ruling,  Justice Olatoregun had granted the prayers of the EFCC counsel.

Apart from the $5.9m, the court had also frozen some other accounts linked to the former First Lady, including an Ecobank account with a balance of N2.4bn opened in the name of a company, La Wari Furniture and Bath Limited.

Justice Olatoregun had then  adjourned to May 22, 2017 for anyone interested in the money to appear before her to show cause why the money should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Following the ruling, the former First Lady,  through her counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, approached the Appellate court to overturn the interim forfeiture order by Justice Olatoregun.

Consequently, at the resumed hearing on May 22, 2017, Adedipe as well as counsel to La Wari Furniture and Bath Limited, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, told Justice Olatoregun that their clients had appealed then temporary forfeiture order.

Both Adedipe and Ozekhome further urged the court to suspend proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.

In view of their prayers, Justice Olatoregun had adjourned to September 24, 2017 to allow the parties to present their arguments at the appeal court.

Patience Jonathan

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