16th February, 2015
Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Lagos High Court today issued a garnishee order compelling Zenith Bank plc to pay the judgment sum of N10.5 from the account of People’s Democratic Party, PDP to a lawyer, Debo Adeleke.
The order followed PDP’s refusal to pay Mr Adeleke the sum after the court had initially delivered a judgment against the party.
Ruling on the garnishee order seeking to compel Zenith Bank Plc to pay Adeleke from the PDP’s account domicile with the bank, Justice Ipaye upheld the argument of the claimant.
The judge ordered Zenith Bank Plc to issued a N10.5 million cheque to Adeleke from the PDP account within the next three days.
Justice Ipaye regretted that it is very unfortunate that a lawyer would have to drag his client to court for payment after rendering legal services to the client.
Adeleke had sued both the national headquarters and Lagos State branch of the PDP over their failure to pay him his outstanding legal fees after he had made over 180 representations in court for the party in its election petition matters.
Adeleke contended 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.
Delivering judgment in the matter on November 12, 2014, Justice Ipaye upheld the argument of Adeleke and ordered the Lagos state chapter of the PDP to pay him N10.5 million as his outstanding legal fee.
Ipaye also asked the Lagos state PDP to pay a N50,000 cost in favour of the claimant.
She 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.
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.
Last week, counsel to PDP, Chukwuma Nmesirionye filed a motion challenging the judgement of the court.
Moving the application to set aside the judgment, 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, Counsel to Adeleke, 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.