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Monday, 20 February 2017

Court fixes April 24 for Jonathan’s suit against EFCC


A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has adjourned until April 24, 2017, for hearing the suit brought before it by former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the enforcement of her fundamental human rights.

Mrs Jonathan had gone to court to seek a declaration that the freezing of her bank accounts and those of her relatives by the EFCC was a violation of her fundamental human rights to own property and to fair hearing.

The former first lady also claimed that the breaking into and ransacking of her family property by officers of the Commission while executing a search warrant was a violation of her fundamental human rights to private and family life.


She also sought the sum of N2bn as damages for the alleged violation of her fundamental human rights by the Commission.

But the EFCC, in its motion of preliminary objection, sought an order dismissing/striking out the entire suit for want of jurisdiction and an order striking out the entire suit for being speculative and abuse of court process.

Counsel for the EFCC, Mr Kayode Oni, on Monday raised the preliminary objection and challenged the powers of the court to hear the suit brought before it by Mrs Jonathan.

However, Mrs Jonathan’s counsel, Granville Abibo (SAN), disagreed with the filing and service of a preliminary objection by the anti-graft body.

Abibo maintained that the filing and service of a preliminary objection in the matter was late and should be not be entertained.

The counsel prayed for more time to allow him file a response to the preliminary objection brought by the EFCC, adding that it had just been served a counter affidavit by the agency.

But Oni told the court that he was served with the processes by the Applicant’s counsel last week and also filed his (Oni) response last week.

After listening to both counsels, Justice Salihu Saidu, pronounced the adjournment of the case till April 24, 2017.

Some protesting women and youths outside the court premises, however, expressed dissatisfaction over EFCC’s actions against Mrs Jonathan.

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