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Patience Jonathan New twist as 4 companies seek to change 'guilty' pleas

The four companies linked to an alleged money laundering claims involving Patience Jonathan are seeking to change their guilty pleas.

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Lawyers of the four companies linked to ex-First Lady, Patience Jonathan's fund of over $15million, have filed an application seeking the court to reverse their pleas.

At a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, during the trial of Waripamo-owei Dudafa, a former Special Assistant to Goodluck Jonathan, the lawyers asked the court to reverse their pleas on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to take the pleas of the purported directors of the companies.

The companies; Pluto Property and Investment Development Company Limited, Seagate Property and Investment Development Company Limited, Transoceanic Property and Investment Development Company Limited, and Avalon Property and Investment Development Company Limited have through Amajuoyi Azubike Briggs, informed the trial judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi of various applications seeking to change the companies' guilt pleas.

Dudafa's lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole informed the court that his client's application is seeking the set aside of the companies directors guilty plea, on the ground that they had denied having any link with the said companies.

He said taking the guilty plea of the companies will amount to misguided, misleading and mischievous and consequently urged the court to enter non guilty plea for the companies.

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In the same vein, lawyer to the second accused person, Onyiuke informed the court that his client's application is predicated on the court's jurisdiction to take the plea of the purported directors of the companies, hence, urging the court to set aside the guilty plea of the purported directors of the companies.

However, EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, described the two applications as 'strange and serious violent abuse of court process'.

He said: "Though, the companies have right to change their pleas before ruling or judgment is delivered, but going by the documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and the companies mandate forms from Skye Bank, the directors were the ones who were signatories to the companies."

Oyedepo stated that the applications were aimed at stalling the review of the matter against the four companies, which was the business of the court.

Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Kuewumi adjourned the case till October 7, 2016 to rule on the two newly instituted applications by the defendants.

Earlier in the month, directors of the companies, Taiwo Ebenezer for Avalon Property and Investment Development Company Limited; Kola Fredrick for Transoceanic Property and Investment Development Company Limited; Friday Davis ; and Agbo Baro for Seagate Property and Investment Development Company Limited, have pleaded guilty to the money laundering charges raised against them by the EFCC.

Is the EFCC unfairly targeting Patience Jonathan?»

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