Court Throws Out Patience Jonathan’s Suit Against SERAP

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has struck out a suit by a group, the Union of Niger Delta Youth Organisation for Equity, Justice and Good Governance, against the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

The group had filed the suit on behalf of former first Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, seeking to stop SERAP from prosecuting Mrs Jonathan over allega­tion of money laundering.

Justice Mojisola Olatore­gun on Wednesday struck out the suit after the group applied to court for a with­drawal of the suit.

The plaintiff had ac­cused SERAP of using on­line, print and electronic media to publish malicious allegations against the for­mer first lady, accusing her to having stolen 15 million dollars.

The group, in the claim, had prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining SERAP from taking any further steps in condemnation of the for­mer First Lady either in all public media or through judicial process.

It said the campaign by SERAP was in breach of Jonathan’s right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty under Sec­tion 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).

In response, SERAP had argued that the group was not registered as provided by the Companies and Al­lied Matters Act, and there­fore lack the legal right to institute an action.

Counsel to SERAP, Mr Timothy Adewale, had de­scribed the suit as a com­plete ‘waste of time

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