By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has sued a prominent right advocacy group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) over alleged “campaign of calumny against her via the media.
Confirming the development to Blackface News on Thursday was the Executive Director of SERAP, Comrade Adetokunbo Mumuni.
Mumuni in the statement to Blackface News said that, “On 18th October 2016 at about 3pm we received court papers dated 6th October 2016 from a bailiff. The papers indicate that one Union of Niger Delta Youth Organization for Equity, Justice and Good Governance suing for themselves and on behalf of Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan filed a suit number FHC/L/CS/1349/2016 before a Federal High Court in Lagos against SERAP.”
According to Mumuni, “the court papers also indicate a prayer for an order of interim injunction restraining SERAP from taking any further steps in further vilification, condemnation and conviction of the Former First Lady Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan, in all public media and in the use of the judicial process for that purpose by the extremely publicized pursuit of any application for the coercion of the Attorney General of the Federation to prosecute the Plaintiff/Applicant for owning legitimate private property, pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Summons.”
Mumuni also revealed that, “The suit is seeking an order directing SERAP to stay all action and to desist forthwith from proceeding against Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan, with any process whatsoever, pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Summons. SERAP was also served a separate application to be joined in the suit number FHC/L/CS/1318/2016 earlier filed by SERAP against the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, over allegations of $15m unexplained wealth against Mrs Jonathan.”
In reaction to the development, Mumuni said, “SERAP categorically rejects these misleading and entirely unfounded accusations against us by Mrs Patience Jonathan and her group, and we will vigorously oppose the suit in court. SERAP will never, in the discharge of its mandates, succumb to any intimidation, harassment and attacks in any way, shape or form. We are now consulting with our lawyers and will be preparing shortly our defence in court.”
According to Mumuni, “At no time did SERAP suggest or even hint that Mrs Jonathan was guilty of the allegations against her. On the contrary, what SERAP has said is that the fact that the $15m found in the four accounts belong to Mrs Jonathan raises serious suspicion or at the very least a prima-facie case of unexplained wealth/illicit enrichment, and imposes an obligation on Mrs Jonathan to explain and justify the source(s) of the $15m.”