By Mike Ubani
An Enugu-based lawyer, Afam Joseph, has urged the state Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Priscilla N. Emehelu, to mete out reasonable punishment against the Deputy Director/Sheriff, High Court Registry, Enugu, Mrs. Leticia N. Eze, over her alleged illegal suspension of execution of a valid court judgment.
In a letter to the state Chief Judge, dated February 10, 2020, and titled “Re-illegal and baseless suspension of overdue execution of judgment in re-Ambrose C. Obodoeze v. Ernest Anayo Ozoekwo & Ors. Suit No. E/780/2018: Request for your urgent intervention,” obtained by The AUTHORITY, Barrister Joseph alleged that Mrs. Eze illegally ordered the Chief Bailiff of the Enugu High Court Registry, Mr. Boniface Onyia, to suspend the execution of a judgment of an Enugu High Court delivered on March 26, 2019, by Hon. Justice Ani Comfort Chinyere.
He claimed that Mrs. Eze took the action even when there was neither an existing order of the court for stay of execution, nor a valid application for such duly filed and served on his client, Ambrose C. Obodoeze(creditor).
According to him, Mrs. Eze’s action is “not only despicable, but patently condemnable.”
He maintained that “adequate and sufficient sanctions within the limit of law” should be meted out against her “to serve as deterrent to those who will try to confront a valid court order.”
Barrister Joseph argued that the writ of execution of the court judgment “is sacred, and an epitome or symbol of the power and authority of the High Court, and any insult against it in whatever guise deserves a just and commensurate sanction.”
The petitioner explained that his client (Ambrose Obodoeze) gave a loan of four million, seven hundred and fifty thousand Naira (N4,750.000.00) to one Jude Ikpe Ozoemena, through Ernest Anayo Ozoekwo, and his wife Ngozi, to buy and supply one Highlander car, two Sienna cars and one Lexus Rx 330 car. But the vehicles were never supplied.
He said that on March 26, 2019, an Enugu High Court No. 8 presided over by Hon. Justice Ani Comfort Chinyere, ruled that Ernest and his wife should refund the sum of N4,250,000.00 (Four million, two hundred and fifty thousand naira only) to Obodoeze, having earlier refunded the sum of five hundred thousand naira to Obodoeze.
Barrister Joseph said that the application for stay of execution filed by Ozoekwo’s counsel was dismissed on November 18, 2019.
He informed the CJ that Mrs. Eze called off the execution of the court judgment from her residence in the morning of January 31, 2020, even while the bailiffs, police men, and creditor were already at the residence of Ernest Anayo Ozoekwe(debtor) to execute the court judgment.
Meanwhile, Barrister Joseph has given Mrs. Eze a three-month pre-action notice, to commence legal action against her at the Enugu High Court.