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Patience renews effort to unfreeze accounts as interim forfeiture order expires



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Former First Lady Patience Jonathan, on Thursday, asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside the order made on May 30,2017 freezing her 16 separate bank accounts with a total of $5.8m  and N3.5 bn.
She argued that court’s orders of interim forfeiture including a subsequent one issued on October 10, 2017 had expired, adding that the order could not be extended since it was originally obtained by abuse of court process.
The EFCC has been locked in a legal battle with Patience over funds the commission traced into her companies’ accounts which it claims are proceeds of illegality.
Patience claimed in an affidavit filed in support of the application that the sums of money belonged to herself, her Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation, and nine other companies.
According to her, the Federal High Court in Abuja had on May 30 , 2017 granted an ex parte order in favour of the Federal Government against all the accounts owned and operated by them.
Through her lawyer Mike Ozekhome, she said the owners of the money were never served with the interim order of forfeiture but only became aware of it during a hearing of a petition by her at the National Assembly.
EFCC’s lawyer Richard Dauda told the presiding judge that his application seeking an order extending the forfeiture order should be heard first.
But Ozekhome maintained that her client’s motion should take precedence over the EFCC’s because hers was challenging the order allegedly obtained in error.
Justice Nyako adjourned the matter until November 23 next week for hearing.