Across Nigeria Corruption Matters Opinion Whistle Blower

Condemnation hounds Patience Jonathan’s $15m accounts

The fact as presented in the media is that certain companies were accused of violating the Money Laundering Prohibition Act. The companies and their directors were arrested and charged to court. These companies and their directors were arraigned before a court that has jurisdiction. The charges were read to them and they claimed to have understood the charges. They voluntarily pleaded guilty. The court properly and lawfully convicted them. Until the judgment is set aside on appeal, it would remain forever.
In the eyes of the law, all the proceeds of the crime have been lawfully forfeited to the state.
The claim by Mrs. Jonathan to the ownership of the money already forfeited to the state is of no consequence since she did not appear before the court as a defendant. She has no locus standi in the criminal proceedings. She did not volunteer to be joined to the suspects.
She can maintain an action if she can prove the ownership of the money against the people she gave it to. The prosecuting authority owed her no obligation and neither can she maintain any claim against the state. We must separate sentiments, emotions, sympathy or political consideration from the due process of the law.


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