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Law firm drags Dimeji Bankole to court over N6m legal fee

From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

A law firm, MJS Partners, has dragged the former Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, before an Ogun State High Court, sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, over his failure to defray the cost of legal services incurred during his travails with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Representing the firm, Dr. Yemi Oke, who is also a managing partner at MJS, in a suit no AB/153/2013, alleged that the former Speaker failed to pay for the legal service amounting to N70 million, but was subsequently reduced to N6 million, following an agreement between the firm and Bankole.

Oke, arguing on Monday, before Justice M. A. Dipeolu, said the suit had been filed since 2013, adding the Claimant later amended its Writ of Summons and reduced the fee to N6 million after reaching agreement with the Defendant.

Okey said since 2013 when the case was filed and its subsequent rulings by the court, the Defendant had failed to obey the court order.

Rather, the Defendant had approached the Appeal Court, in Ibadan, and with the appellate court ruling that the matter be heard on its merit.

Oke informed the court that the law firm was contacted when the former Speaker of the House of Representatives was arrested by the EFCC in 2011 and that a total sum of N70 million was agreed as the legal fees. The legal team later went into action and secured the defendant’s bail from the EFCC custody.

He stated further that after Bankole’s release, the legal team organised for his defence at the law court and throughout the fire work, the law firm was able to get only N3 million for transport and hotel accommodation.

Counsel to Bankole, Abiodun Aboaba, asked for a short adjournment in order for him to properly study the case and file necessary response to issues raised by the counsel to the claimant.

He argued that the applications submitted by the claimant was just received at the court premises and asked for seven days to respond in accordance to court proceedings.

Responding on the defence counsel’s request for a short adjournment, Justice Dipeolu, said the court might not be ready to entertain any delay from the defence counsel.

The case was later adjourned to the October 17 for the defendant to file its response.

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