Patience Jonathan’s $15.5m: Court decides firms’ fate Nov 22

Patience Jonathan

The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed November 22 to take a decision on the guilty plea of four firms which were allegedly used to launder a sum of $15, 591,700 for Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

The concerned firms are linked to a former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.

The firms are Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on September 15, 2016 arraigned them along with Dudafa; a lawyer, Amajuoyi Briggs; and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku, for allegedly laundering a sum of $15, 591,700 on or about November 13, 2013.

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But while Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty to the charges, the firms, however, pleaded guilty.

The guilty plea was entered on their behalf by one Friday Davies, Agbo Baro, Bioghowri Frederick and Taiwo Ebenezer, who were listed as their directors at the Corporate Affairs Commission.

But Briggs, who was registered as the secretary to the firms, challenged the authenticity of the persons who entered guilty plea on their behalf and urged the presiding judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi, to reverse the guilty plea.

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Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, later appeared for the firms, contending that the guilty plea entered for them must be changed.

The contention went on to the Court of Appeal, which eventually directed Justice Kuewumi to hear the motion seeking to reverse the guilty plea.

At the Wednesday’s proceedings, the judge entertained Briggs’ motion seeking to reverse the firms’ guilty plea.

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