Punish registrar for allegedly suspending valid court order, lawyer tells Enugu CJ
An Enugu-based lawyer, Afam Joseph, has urged the state Chief Judge, Justice Priscilla 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,” Joseph alleged that the deputy director 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 by Justice Ani Comfort Chinyere, on March 26, 2019.
According to him, 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.
He said Mrs. Eze’s action was “not only despicable, but patently condemnable,” and 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.”
The lawyer 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.”
“Our enquiries show that she (Mrs. Eze) claimed that the order to suspend the execution emanated from your exalted and honourable office, which we very much doubted, hence this petition,” said Joseph.Efforts to speak with Mrs Eze on the allegations have not yielded the required dividend.
After several phone calls to her mobile number were not answered, the Guardian on February 19, sent a text to her, demanding to get her side of the story.
She had same day responded that: “I will get back to you after official clearance”.On March 3, the Guardian again approached her and sent her a reminder on the need to state her side of the story. But as at the time of writing the story on February 6, Mrs Eze was not forthcoming with her reactions. Phone calls to her mobile number on that day indicated it was switched off.Meanwhile, Joseph has given her a three-month pre-action notice, to commence legal action against her at the Enugu High Court.