PATIENCE JONATHAN’S SUIT GIVEN ACCELERATED HEARING

Read previous post on case here.

Justice Idris of the Federal High Court ordered accelerated hearing of the suit filed by former first Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Skye Bank and four companies over the funds, which have been attached by the EFCC in accounts in the names of the companies domiciled at Skye Bank. The suit, which was previously before Justice Kuewumi also of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, has been re-assigned to Justice Idris and was coming up before Justice Idris for the first time yesterday the 22nd of November 2016. Justice Kuewumi had on the 2nd of November 2016 convicted the four companies of retaining the sums which are proceeds of crime. Read about the conviction here.

Chief Ifedayo Adedipe SAN who appeared along with Chief Abibo SAN for the former first lady informed the court of the pendency of two applications – one seeking to amend the originating processes in the suit and another seeking orders of interlocutory injunctions. However counsel who is representing Skye Bank sued as the 2nd Defendant wrote a letter seeking an adjournment of the suit. He asked the court while adjourning the suit to make an order for interim preservation of the res pending the hearing of the application for interlocutory injunction, which though ripe for hearing could not be heard yesterday. Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo who appeared for the EFCC asked the court to refuse the application for interim orders. He stated that the companies have already been convicted for retaining the sums in question and further stated that there was an interim order of attachment given by Justice Lawal of the High Court of Lagos State. He therefore submitted that any interim order made would be greatly prejudicial and would be contradictory to the orders already made.

Chief Adedipe in his response stated that the interim order of attachment he is seeking is no different from the order made by the High Court of Lagos State. He explained that the order was to prevent the Federal Government or the EFCC from moving the money to the TSA account or the EFCC account until the Honourable Court determines the issue of ownership of the funds. Justice Idris in his ruling stated that he is not to make any observations that would prejudice the substantive suit at this stage and would rather make an order of accelerated hearing.

The suit has been adjourned to the 7th of December 2016 for hearing.

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