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Patience Jonathan Ex-first lady sues SERAP for alleged campaign of calumny

The ex-first lady accused SERAP of using the media to publish unfounded and malicious allegations against her

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Nigeria's former First Lady Patience Jonathan play

Nigeria's former First Lady Patience Jonathan

(Sahara Reporters)

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non-governmental organisation, has said that the wife of  former President, Patience Jonathan, has sued SERAP for alleged “campaign of calumny’’ .

Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director of SERAP made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Mumuni said the wife of the former president accused  SERAP of using online, print and electronic media to publish unfounded and malicious allegations that she stole 15 million U.S. dollars and ought to be prosecuted.

He said on Oct. 18, SERAP received court papers dated Oct. 6, from a court bailiff indicating that Niger Delta Youth Organisation for Equity, Justice and Good Governance sued for themselves and on behalf of Patience.

The suit FHC/L/CS/1349/2016 was filed in a Federal High Court, Lagos, against SERAP.

Mumuni said the plaintiffs want the court to restrain SERAP from taking any further steps in further vilification, condemnation and conviction of the former first lady in the media.

He said the applicants want the court to direct SERAP to stay all action and to desist forthwith from proceed with any action Patience  pending the hearing and determination of their siut.

The executive director also said SERAP was served a separate application to be joined in suit FHC/L/CS/1318/2016 earlier filed by SERAP against the Attorney General of the Federation over allegations of 15 million dollars unexplained wealth against Patience.

Reacting to the issue, Mumuni said, SERAP categorically rejects these misleading and entirely unfounded accusations against the organisation by the plaintiffs

“At no time did SERAP suggest or even hint that Patience was guilty of the allegations against her.

“SERAP will never, in the discharge of its mandates, succumb to any intimidation, harassment and attacks in any way, shape or form.

“On the contrary, what SERAP has said is that the fact that the 15 million U.S. dollar found in the four accounts belong to Mrs Jonathan raises serious suspicion and imposes an obligation on Mrs Jonathan to explain and justify the source of the money,” he said

Mumuni stated further that SERAP had not engaged in any campaign against Patience or any other politically exposed persons for that matter.

He said that its suit was filed against the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and not Patience.

“It’s a joke to accuse SERAP of trying to coerce the Attorney General to perform his constitutional duty as this is for the court to decide," he said.

Mumuni said that SERAP would consistently strive to ensure that its human rights and accountability works met international standards and the highest standards of analytical rigor devoid of bias or assumptions as to individual’s guilt.

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