Anambra: Counsel, plaintiffs lament judgment execution despite Appeal notice, stay of execution application

Execution of court judgment despite stay of execution notice, Appeal court application worries counsel, his clients

By Cyprian Ebele, Onitsha

Barrister G.C. Enekwechi and his five plaintiffs, Christian Okechukwu Chinwuko, Chief Benson O.N. Ubaka, Ejiofor Chinwuko and Alex Ekwelu Chinwuko, (for themselves and on behalf of members of Okeke Omeligbo family, Umuonaga village Agulu, Awka), have lamented execution of judgement against them despite their appeal for stay of execution which an Awka High court Presided over by Hon. Justice C.C. Okaa has fixed  June 19, 2024,  for hearing.

In the same vein, the plaintiffs have also gone to the Appeal court and time for the appeal is still running when the court, in favour of the defendants, executed the court judgment prompting the plaintiffs and their counsel, to cry out over the execution despite appeal for stay of execution and Appeal court application made earlier.

Reacting, counsel to the plaintiffs, Barr. Enekwechi, stated that, "As lawyers we are embarrassed because we have never seen this kind of a thing before, where judgment is given, appeal filed, the time within which to file the appeal still running. There is also motion for stay of execution on that judgment and a date has been given to hear the motion by the court.

"And then the court went ahead and executed that judgment. So what actually happened. How did the court clerk and bailiff go into execution of judgement without case file. If the Assistant Chief Registrar, ACR, Mrs Edith Nwachukwu, had looked into the case file she would have found out if there is order of execution. You must see the case file before execution.

"The ACR said she has not seen the case file, that we ought to have served her that motion, which is absolutely wrong. All you need to do is to file your processes, and have your processes in the case file, that's all. Only a day after, they demolished the property, (Anaocha land), and everything therein, including going beyond the stipulated area.They did not look at the survey plan even if they are going to execute it.

 The plaintiffs' counsel lamented that, "We look at the scandalous nature of carrying out execution when there is an appeal and motion for stay of execution pending determination of the stay of execution. There is an appeal pending and date for filing still running 

"The execution was done after we  have filed our case for appeal and we have been given date to hear that. When was the order of execution signed because the Judge didn't come on Thursday and Friday," he further disclosed.

In the suit No. A/392/2017 and Notice No. A/666m/2024, the plaintiffs as mentioned above and the defendants that include, Victoria Chidi-Akim and Chief Nwafor Obinka, (1st set of defendants) and Sunday Nweke, (2nd set of defendants), are in court over Anaocha land saga.

In a swift reaction when contacted, the ACR stated that the executive order given by the judge was carried out because she was not served the application for a date to hear motion for stay of execution of the judgment.

"This is the contention of the plaintiffs that the ACR acted in error and out of practice which made the judge to sign the execution order," she stated.

The ACR insisted that the case file for ritt of execution was in the case file and as such was out of practice for ACR to demand a personal service before the processes be respected.

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