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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

$15m: Court strikes out Patience Jonathan's lawsuit against anti-corruption NGO, SERAP

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has struck out the suit filed by Former First lady, Patience Jonathan, against anti-corruption organization, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project SERAP, over allegations of "vilification and breach of human rights".

Mrs Jonathan filed the suit in October last year after the group petitioned the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, calling for the prosecution of Mrs Jonathan after $15 million was found in four controversial accounts which she laid claim to. 

According to the court papers filed by the Union of Niger Delta Youth Organization for Equity, Justice and Good Governance on Mrs Jonathan's behalf, the $15 million found in the accounts linked to the former first lady, were contributions of gifts she had gathered in her years in government with her husband.

The court paper stated that she had intended to use the said money to revive her families dormant businesses. At the hearing of the case yesterday, counsels to Mrs Jonathan, said they were no longer interested in pursuing the case and asked for withdrawal.

Counsel to SERAP did not object to the application for withdrawal and asked the court to order the former first lady's counsels to pay them N500,000. The presiding judge, Justice Justice C.M.A Olatoregun struck out the case and awarded N25,000 as cost to SERAP.

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