An FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja on Tuesday ordered the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to pay N180m to a legal practitioner, Samuel Okutepa (SAN) being his professional fee.
Justice Jude Okeke who delivered the judgment said Okutepa deserved to be paid the money for handling the cases for the party.
“The defendant is directed to pay the claimant N180m being the earned professional fee for defending and prosecuting their cases listed out in the applicant’s statements of claims.”
The court also ordered PDP to pay N50,000 to Okutepa for successfully handling the cases.
The Judge held that it was not right for the PDP not to pay for the work they knew was well handled by the plaintiff.
He said that the defendant claimed that they did not give him job to do, as no legal agreement was signed by the parties.
The Judge said that in the records before the court, the applicant was given the brief by the former Governor of Benue, Gabriel Suswam, and the Attorney General of Benue.
He added that the constitution of PDP recognised a state governor as a high officer who can give instructions on behalf of the party.
“The instructions given to the applicant to handle the matter is binding on the PDP.
”The defendant was aware that the applicant conducted the cases and never questioned the instructions of the Governor.
”The defendant kept quiet and benefited from his services, permitted and encouraged him to labour only to claim that a legal contract was not signed.
”The defendant is not in denial that the applicant did not handle the cases, but they claimed they did not engage him,” he held.
Some of the cases handled by Okutepa were: Terver Kakih Vs PDP and three others, three cases at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, among others.