Tuesday, 3 May 2022

SAN Sues Lawmaker Over Unpaid Professional Fees

Professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Andrew Chukwuemerie has sued a House of Representatives member, Preye Oseke, for allegedly failing to pay his professional fees.

In two suits, ABJ/CV/3403/21 and ABJ/CV/3404/21, at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the claimant seeks an order compelling Oseke to pay the balances of his fees.

The SAN said the lawmaker, who represents Southern Ijaw in Bayelsa State, had owed him since 2019.

In the first suit, the claimant is praying for an order compelling the defendant to pay him N24,500,500.

He said the payment was on a quantum meruit basis from an agreed N35 million fee for instituting a suit against one of the defendant’s opponents, Benson Konbowei, in 2019 House of Representatives poll.

The claimant also seeks payment of N5 million as exemplary and punitive damages and N20million as cost.

In the second suit, the claimant said he defended Oseke at the Election Petition Tribunal and Court of Appeal in 2019.

The SAN is claiming N20 million as outstanding fees, N500,000 as outstanding appearance fees, and N15 million as cost of the suit.

The claimant said the defendant engaged him to defend his victory after he contested and won on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).

The SAN said following his competent and diligent defence, Oseke won at the tribunal and Appellate Court.

He said the problem started after Oseke’s victory at the Court of Appeal when he refused to pay him and would neither take his calls nor reply to his text messages.

According to the claimant, the defendant had claimed he was cash-strapped and promised to pay on resumption at the National Assembly.

Chukwuemerie said several attempts to get the lawmaker to fulfil his promises failed, adding that the defendant has “remained recalcitrant and unwilling to pay his debt”.

He said he provided “stellar legal services” for the lawmaker in defending “an election he had won but was going to lose through an election petition”.

Chukwuemerie added: “It is now obvious that the defendant will not pay those fees except he is compelled by an order of this court.”

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