Court grants N30.2Million Judgment Against APC in Respect of Professional Fees Owed by APC to their Lawyers
High Court Uyo grants N30.2Million Judgment Against APC in Respect of Professional Fees Owed by APC to their Lawyers
An Akwa Ibom State High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Charles Ikpe has entered judgment in the sum of N30,200,000.00 against the All Progressives Congress (APC) in favor of Messrs. Louis Akanimo and Fidel Albert, of the Law Firm of Aes Triplex LP.
At the resumed sitting in Uyo on Monday, 18th December 2017, the court held that it believed the case of the plaintiffs that they were instructed by the defendant (APC) to represent it at the Akwa Ibom State National and State House of Assemblies Election Tribunal to challenge the 2015 general election results in 16 state constituencies and five Federal constituencies.
Prior to the decision of the court, counsel for the defendant, Utomobong Ubaha, Esq informed the court that on behalf of the defendant, they have filed their notice of intention to defend the suit and thereafter prayed the court for an adjournment to enable them file their statement of defence.
Opposing the said application, Nsikak Akai, Esq. for the plaintiffs told the court that the application made by the defence counsel is irregular and has no basis whatsoever in a suit placed under the undefended list procedure. He referred the court to the file to show that the defendant has not filed any notice of intention to defend as same has not been served on him.
Nsikak Akai, Esq. then prayed the court to refuse such an application since the undefended procedure does not contemplate the filing of a statement of defence unless the court transfers the suit to the general cause list and orders for the filing of pleadings. He thereafter asked the court to proceed without the slightest hesitation to enter judgment for the plaintiffs since the defendant does not have any defence thereto.
The court found out that the defendant despite being duly served with the originating processes, has refused to file a notice of its intention to defend the said suit. That a perusal of its record reveals that no such process has been filed contrary to the claim of the defence counsel, Utomobong Ubaha.
The court therefore proceeded to enter judgment for the plaintiffs since there was no defence and ordered that the plaintiffs be paid the sum of N30,200,000.00 being their professional fees for their services rendered to the defendant. The court also awarded the sum of N20,000.00 as cost of the action.
It would be recalled that the court had on the 13th of November 2017 ordered the placement of the said suit on the undefended list while the processes were to be served on the defendant for their defence if any.
Speaking to newsmen after the Proceedings, Nsikak Akai of Counsel praised the presiding Judge for the wisdom and acumen in seeing through the ruse of the Defendants and expressed confidence in the Judiciary to always side with the downtrodden.
While describing the Judgment as “very sound and on a sure footing in law”, Counsel expressed the hope that the APC, which prides itself as a party with integrity would do the needful by obeying the Judgment and pay professional fees to his Client, which fees has been owing since 2015, without putting his clients through further hardship.