Nigeria’s ex-first lady forfeits $34M to government

A top Nigerian court on Monday ordered the permanent forfeiture of $34 million linked to Patience Jonathan, the country’s former first lady.

Federal High Court Justice Mojisola Olatoregun said the anti-graft agency has proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” its claim that the money was a proceed of crime and should be forfeited to the Nigerian government.

The money had been traced to two different accounts linked to the former powerful first lady, with $25.6 million found in one account, and $8.4 million in another.

The anti-graft agency told the court the funds were “proceeds of corruption” as they were not tied to any legal business transactions.

Goodluck Johnathan served as Nigeria’s president from 2010 to 2015.

Current President Muhammadu Buhari has made anti-corruption a focus of his administration, although the opposition insists the fight has been targeted at Buhari’s political adversaries. The government denies the charge.

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