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Patience Jonathan SERAP sues FG for failing to prosecute Ex-First Lady over $15m 'fraud'

SERAP said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) failed to act on the request to prosecute Patience Jonathan.

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Human rights advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has sued the Federal Government for failing to initiate criminal proceedings against former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

The Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had traced $15 million to bank accounts belonging to Mrs. Jonathan - the money which is believed to have been acquired fraudulently.

A statement issued on Sunday, September 24, by the group's Executive Director, Adetokunbi Mumuni, said the FG ignored its request to prosecute Mrs. Jonathan.

SERAP said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) failed to act on the request.

In the said suit marked, FHC/L/CS/1318/2016, SERAP is seeking an order of mandamus, compelling the AGF to immediately file a criminal charge against the ex-First Lady for what the group termed illicit enrichment.

Mandamus is a judicial writ issued as a command to an inferior court or ordering a person to perform a public or statutory duty.

SERAP said: “The Attorney General of the Federation has failed, neglected and or refused to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan over the $15m unexplained wealth frozen in her accounts.

"Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens, but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution, is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law. In a democratic society, this is meant to be the norm; it is an apostasy for government to ignore the provisions of the law and the necessary rules made to regulate matters.

"Mrs. Jonathan is a politically-exposed person under anti-corruption standards. She is also covered under the definition of ‘public officials’ contained in the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party. Under Article 2 of the convention, public officials include Mrs. Jonathan or any other family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan who exercised official duties while he was President.”

ALSO READ: 'Accounts frozen by EFCC belong to my late mum' - Patience Jonathan

The group is asking the court to declare that Malami’s refusal to file criminal charges against Mrs Jonathan is in conflict with his constitutional mandate as well as the provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

No date has been fixed to hear the suit.

Is the EFCC unfairly targeting Patience Jonathan?»

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