The Federal High Court in Lagos Thursday adjourned hearing of Mrs Patience Jonathan’s suit seeking to unfreeze her accounts till November 2.
The accounts are said to have a combined balance of $15.5 million.
Justice Mohammed Idris had on May 8 held that Mrs Jonathan and other parties must give oral evidence on the money’s ownership.
According to him, all the defendants’ counter-affidavits contain disputed facts that could not be decided without oral evidence.
“In my view, the facts are contentious, and oral evidence needs to be led by the parties herein. In the light of the above facts, this case is generally not suitable for an originating summons procedure.
“In the circumstances, the court hereby orders that the parties herein file pleadings in accordance with the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009 and trial shall then proceed accordingly,” Justice Idris held.
The EFCC had urged the court not to unfreeze the accounts because the money was suspected to be “proceed of crime”.
Skye Bank Plc, Jonathan’s former aide Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd and Avalon Global Property Development Ltd are the other respondents.
The companies, through their representatives, had pleaded guilty to laundering the money last September 15 when they were arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi of the same court.
They were charged along with Dudafa, Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku, for allegedly laundering the money.
Unlike the companies, Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty to the 17-count charge.
In a supporting affidavit to her application, Mrs Jonathan’s aide, Sammie Somiari, said Dudafa helped the former first lady to open the accounts around March 2010.
The deponent claimed Mrs Jonathan was the sole signatory to the accounts and that she had no relationship with the companies.