Court orders PDP to pay Okutepa N180m fees

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An FCT High Court in Maitama has ordered the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to pay a senior lawyer, Samuel Okutepa (SAN) the sum of N180 million as professional fees.

Justice Jude Okeke, while delivering judgement in a suit instituted by the lawyer against the PDP, held that it was wrong for the PDP not to pay for the work they knew was well handled by the claimant.

The judge further held that in the records before the court, the claimant was given the brief by a former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam and the Attorney General of Benue, and 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 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 judge held.

Justice Okeke also ordered PDP to pay N50, 000 to Okutepa as cost of instituting the suit.

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