Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, is still trying to stop the federal government from permanently confiscating $5.7 million and N2.4 billion which were seized from her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Aisha Buhari as defence: At a Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday, Patience Jonathan’s lawyers introduced an interesting argument to make their case. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), her lead lawyer, said that receiving cash gifts as Patience did is not illegal. “Even the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, is seeking to build a university,” he said.
- “The first respondent is a wife to a former deputy governor, governor, Vice President, and President. Even the current occupier of the office of the First Lady wants to build a university. In this country, First Ladies enjoy a lot of goodwill. She (Patience) stated that governors gave her money. Nobody wrote that she stole their money,” he said.
- “It is not the law that if the EFCC finds money in an account and it doesn’t like the owner’s face, it comes to court and says ‘forfeit it’. The government is at liberty to apply for forfeiture but the offence must be stated.
Adedipe said there was no justification for the money to be forfeited to the Federal Government as the EFCC had not proved that Patience stole money from the government or any individual.
Aisha Buhari University: In making her argument, Patience Jonathan referenced a report that the wife of Nigeria’s frugal president has now made enough wealth to establish a university in her home state of Adamawa. Investigations by this paper confirms that while moves are underway for the establishment, it is yet to receive the green light from the National Universities Commission (NUC).