By Sampson Boroh
A Bayelsa State High Court in Yenagoa on Thursday ordered the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to pay the owner of the building housing its state secretariat the sum of N105 million as outstanding arrears of rent owed the landlord.
The presiding judge, Justice T. I. Cocodia, gave the order on Thursday while delivering judgement in a case filed by the building owner, Mr Chubby Walson, marked: YNC/50/2019.
The judge granted the prayers of the claimant, a former council chairman of Yenagoa Council Area in the state, that he is entitled to payment of rent from the PDP for the use of his six winged storey building located along Alamieyeseigha Expressway, Yenagoa as its Secretariat complex from August 2008 till date.
He ordered, “That the PDP should pay the landlord the sum of N85 million being balance of unpaid rent from July 2010 to July 2018 for a six winged storey building used as corporate secretariat of the party in Bayelsa State.”
Justice Cocodia, also ordered the PDP to pay the due rent of N20 million to the landlord as rent from July 2018 to July 2019 if the matter transcends August 1, 2019.
The landlord, Walson, last year had dragged the state chapter of the PDP to court over its refusal to pay accumulated rent arrears since 2010.
In his reaction to the judgment, counsel to the landlord, Kelvin Ejelonu Esq, described the judgement as well deserved as not only did the claimant prove his case but also the defendant (PDP) did not in any way discountenance.
He said the case of the claimant which was established by preponderance of evidence, adding that “the judgment reemphasizes the fact that once you have a legal right and you pursue same through the courts you are sure to get justice.”