Court Fixes April 12 for Hearing Suit Challenging Demolition of Patience Jonathan’s Propetties

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, adjourned to April 12, hearing on a motion that seeks temporary forfeiture of properties linked to former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.
The adjournment was sequel to a request by Mrs. Jonathan’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who had asked the court for time to respond to the counter affidavit filed by the applicant.
The EFCC had filed an ex parte motion seeking temporary forfeiture of some properties allegedly belonging to Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation which has link with the former First Lady; situated at plot No. 1758, Cadastral Zone, B06 Mabushi and plot No.1350, Cadastral Zone, A00 Central Business District, Abuja.
However, when the matter came up for hearing at the last adjournment, January 22, the trial Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, had ordered that investigation of claim by the respondent that the said properties have been demolished by agents of the Federal Government.
When the matter came up Monday for hearing, counsel to EFCC, Rimamsomte Ezekiel, told the court that its investigations showed that the said properties it seeks to freeze were not the ones demolished by agents of the government as claimed by the respondent.
He however, said he has filed a counter affidavit, challenging the veracity of the respondent’s claims.
Responding, Chief Ozekhome refuted the claim of the EFCC lamenting that but for the insecurity in the country, the respondent would have moved the court to the demolished cite to personally confirm for itself.
He told the court that the respondent is in possession of a CD (compact disk) of the demolished building which it would present to the court at the next sitting.
While describing as a lie the counter affidavit filed by the applicant, the senior advocated claimed that the EFCC destroyed two of the four buildings and only took pictures of the two remaining buildings from the back.
He maintained that even if it was a room that was demolished, the applicant does not have the right to do so since the matter was already in court.
Responding, Justice Dimgba, subsequently adjourned to 12 April for the hearing of the matter.
The Federal Capital Territory Development and Control was reported to have demolished the said properties of the former first lady on 16th of January 2018.
Ozekhome said the demolition took place despite a suit challenging the temporary forfeiture application of the EFCC of the properties which is pending before a sister court presided over by Justice John Tsoho.
“My Lord, we are in a democracy, not dictatorship. Demolition of the properties which are a subject matter of a suit before the court is the highest level of lawlessness and disregard to the rule of law. It is an act of intimidation on the judiciary.
“You cannot destroy properties already a subject matter of a suit before a court whether done directly or indirectly by the government or EFCC.”

Author: News Editor

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