The wife of the former President, Mrs Patience Jonathan, has made a case for the sum of $8.4 million and N7.4bn temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
At the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday, her lawyers played five video evidence to convince the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, that the monies were legitimate.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had via an ex parte application in April 2018 obtained an interim order for the forfeiture of the sum.
It joined as respondents, Mrs Patience Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd, Magel Resort Ltd, and Esther Oba.
While granting the interim forfeiture, the court had directed that the order be published in the national dailies for any interested party to appear and show cause why a final order should not be made.
In October 2018, the EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, moved for the final forfeiture of the sums; but a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, who represented some of the respondents opposed the move and urged the court to instead hear his counter-affidavits.
At the proceeding today, Mr Ozekhome who appeared for the third to sixth responden, s informed the court that exhibit F5 of his processes proved that the third respondent (Finchley Homes) was a company, and he showed video evidence of various outfits legitimately run by the company.
Five videos were played in all via a projector in the courtroom.
The first video, which spanned a period of 25 minutes, showed business outlets and products of Finchley Homes Ltd (third respondent), including the interior and exterior home decorations, household utensils, textiles, drinks, noodles, furniture, its warehouse, as well as various pickup vans belonging to the company.
The second video clip, which ran for four minutes, also showed the business outfit of the sixth respondent (Magel Resort Ltd), located in Otueke, Bayelsa State, a luxurious hotel and suites with well-equipped IT centres.
Another SAN, Ifedayo Adedipe, who represented the first respondent, exhibited three more videos, showing activities of the Women for Change Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation, linked to Mrs Jonathan.
The third video, which ran for 10 minutes, showed the flag off of the initiative’s campaign while the fourth video which was displayed for 10 minutes showed aspects of the initiative’s empowerment programmes for women through the distribution of bags of rice and other food items.
The seven-minute fifth video displayed a visit of Mrs Jonathan to Katsina State, to flag off the initiative.
After the final display of the video clips, the EFCC’s counsel told the court that he had not been served with the affidavit of the respondents showing some of the exhibits displayed in court.
Justice Olatoregun thereafter adjourned till tomorrow (Wednesday) for the continuation of the trial.