The Appeal Court, Lagos Division, on Monday, September 18, 2017 fixed hearing of an appeal filed by a former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, against the temporary forfeiture of the sum of $5.8 million to November 3.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court, Lagos had on April 26, in a ruling on an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made the order.
The judge had also ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sum of N2,421,953,522.78 found in an Ecobank Nigeria Ltd account number 2022000760 in the name of La Wari Furniture and Baths Limited, which the commission said is linked to the former First Lady.
But, dissatisfied with the ruling, Patience Jonathan, through her counsel, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling and also to ask that the order be vacated.
Although, the suit, which was initially assigned to three Justices: John Ikyeh, Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo and Abraham Georgewill last July 5, could not hold at last sitting on July 12 following the withdrawal of Justice Abraham Georgewill from the panel.
As a result of this, Justice Ikyeh, who presided over the appeal, at the last adjourned date had noted: “Three judges were required to form a quorum before an appeal could be heard”.
However, at the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, the new three-man panel of the appellate court Justices, Mohammed Lawal-Garba, Nimpar Yargata and Inyang Ogakwu, granted a prayer by the former First Lady seeking to amend her notice of appeal and file additional grounds of appeal.
The lead justice, Lawal-Garba, also directed lawyer representing La Wari Furniture and Baths Limited, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), to file separate notice of appeal for his client within 48 hours.
The order was sequel to the striking out of the name of La Wari Furniture and Baths Limited from the main appeal filed by Mrs Jonathan.
The court had earlier granted leave to the company to appeal against the decision of the lower court.
Consequently, the hearing of the two appeals has been adjourned to November 3.
By Chinyere Obia