Persistence Jonathan vs EFCC: Supreme Courtroom fixes date to ship judgement on asset forfeiture case


The Supreme Courtroom has fastened March eight, 2019 to ship judgment in an attraction filed by former First Woman Mrs. Persistence Jonathan, difficult the powers of the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) to order forfeiture of her properties, when she has not been convicted of any offence.

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The apex courtroom fastened the date yesterday in Abuja after taking argument from Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, counsel to the ex-First Woman and Rotimi Oyedepo who stood for EFCC.

Mrs. Jonathan prayed the Supreme Courtroom to put aside part 17 of the Superior Price Fraud as contained within the EFCC Act on the bottom that it’s in battle with the 1999 Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The appellant complained that the part of the EFCC Act which empowers the anti graft company to quickly take over properties of the Nigerian residents on mere suspicion is offensive to a provision of the structure which presumes suspects harmless till allegations in opposition to them are proved past affordable doubt.

The grouse of the previous first girl was that the offending part 17 permitted the EFCC alone to method courtroom, make submission to request for interim forfeiture with none recourse for alternative for residents to defend themselves.

The appellant additional argued that by the supply of the part 17, people are already responsible even with out trial because the legislation didn’t give equal alternative to the EFCC and the suspects.

She, subsequently, prayed the apex courtroom to reverse the supply as a result of it’s in battle with the 1999 Structure that protects the residents.

“Even when there is no such thing as a materials to ascertain guilt property is a product of illegal act, the respondent (EFCC) has been unlawfully empowered to get forfeiture order in opposition to any citizen. That is in battle with the presumption of innocence as enshrined within the 1999 Structure”, the counsel argued.


Nevertheless, the EFCC urged the courtroom to dismiss the attraction on the bottom that the part 17 complained about was mis-conceived.

Oyedepo who stood for EFCC argued that part 17 of the EFCC Act solely covers property fairly suspected to be product of illegal act or deserted for a very long time and traced to a suspect.

The counsel insisted that the supply was not absolute as a result of it makes alternative for any citizen to at all times present trigger in courtroom why the forfeiture shouldn’t be granted by courtroom.

Oyedepo knowledgeable the courtroom that the appellant selected to go to Attraction Courtroom to problem the EFCC energy reasonably than going to a federal excessive courtroom to indicate trigger why her property shouldn’t be forfeited to the federal authorities.

He urged the courtroom to dismiss the attraction and to uphold the contending part of the EFCC Act.

Justice Mohammed Musa Dattijo who presided over the attraction fastened March eight for judgment after taking arguments from the 2 events.


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Author: Orimisan Temidayo

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