Court strikes out Dame Patience’s suit against SERAP over $15m probe

By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos

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

This is because her lawyers on Wednesday at the hearing of the case informed the court that they were no longer interested in pursuing the matter, and subsequently applied to discontinue/withdraw it.

Timothy Adewale who represented SERAP reacted saying, “This case should never have been brought against SERAP in the first place. The case has been a complete waste of our time. While we do not object to the request by the Plaintiffs’ lawyers for withdrawal of the case, we ask the Honourable Court for N500,000 as cost against Mrs Jonathan and her group.”

The court presided over by Hon. Justice C.M.A Olatoregun subsequently struck out the case and awarded N25,000 as cost to SERAP.

It would be recalled that Mrs Jonathan and her group Union of Niger Delta Youth Organization for Equity, Justice and Good Governance had accused SERAP in suit number FHC/L/CS/1349/2016 dated 6th October 2016 of “using online, print and electronic media to publish to the public unfounded and malicious allegations that she stole $15m (US) and ought to be prosecuted.”

SERAP responded by filing a preliminary objection dated 27 October 2016, asking the Federal High Court to “dismiss her suit with substantial cost.”

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