The Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, struck out the suit filed former First Lady, 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).
Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyers at the hearing of the case, on Wednesday, 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 in court said: “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 the group 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 $15 million 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.”
When the case first came up for hearing before Justice Olatoregun Babatunde Ogala, former Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly’s Committee on Judiciary represented SERAP in court. Ogala said: “Patience Jonathan’s claims cannot be maintained because they are brought on her behalf by a group that is unknown to law. Mrs Jonathan’s group is not a registered organisation envisaged by law. This very point calls into question the legal capacity to file this suit against SERAP, and the jurisdiction of the court to entertain her suit.”
One Union of Niger Delta Youth Organisation for Equity, Justice and Good Governance suing for themselves and on behalf of Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan had sued SERAP on 6th October 2016 before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Source: The Sun