N10.5m Judgment Debt: Court To Rule On PDP's Appeal


Henry Ojelu

A Lagos High Court Judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye will on February 16, 2015, rule on the application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking to set aside the judgment of the court ordering it to pay a lawyer, Mr. Debo Adeleke the sum of N10.5 million as professional fees.

Ipaye fixed the date today after listening to arguments from counsel to PDP, Mr. Chukwuma Nmesirionye and Adeleke’s counsel, Mr. Onyegbena Thankgod.

The judge, had on November 12, 2014 ordered the Lagos State chapter of the PDP to pay N10.5 million as professional fees to a legal practitioner Adeleke.

Ipaye had also asked the Lagos State PDP to pay a N50,000 cost in favour of the claimant.

She had held that the Lagos PDP breached the provisions of Order 11 Rule 4 of the High Court of Lagos State Civil Procedure Rules.

She said the proof of service before the court showed that the party was served with the court processes but refused to file its response to the claimant’s affidavit.

The judge further said the non-compliance with the court rules had shown that the party was not interested in defending the suit.

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She said the court was more than satisfied with the totality of the unchallenged facts of the claimant and therefore entered judgment in his favour.

Adeleke had sued both the national headquarters and state branch of the PDP over their failure to pay him his outstanding legal fees after he had made 180 representations for the party.

His counsel had argued that he handled seven cases for the PDP at the Lagos State Local Government Elections Petitions Tribunal between November 2011 and August 2012, but the party only paid him N1.45 million out of the N12 million agreed for handling the cases.

But moving the application to set aside the judgment today, Nmesirionye said the order of the court was against the account of the 2nd defendant (Lagos PDP) and not account of the 1st defendant (the national PDP).

He argued that the attempt by the judgment creditor to attach the account of the national PDP domicile in Abuja is against the order of the court.

Opposing the application, claimant counsel, Thankgod argued that the summary judgment gave his client the right to recover his money from the Lagos PDP’s account from anywhere within the country.

Thankgod said Zenith Bank has confirmed that PDP’s account with them has more than enough funds to satisfy the judgment sum and urged the court to dismiss PDP’s application seeking to set aside the judgment.

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