Court orders commercial banks to appear for judgment debt against Ekiti State Government

A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has granted a “Nisi Order” to garnishment accounts belonging to the Ekiti State Government domiciled in several commercial banks in Nigeria.

A Nisi Order is an order that directs a garnishee (primarily banks) to appear in court on a specific date and justify why an order should not be issued to them for the payment of a judgment debt from the debt account. a judgment debtor to a judgment creditor.

In a lawsuit marked: FHC//L/CS/1229/2021, the plaintiff, Mr. Oladimeji Olugbenga Adewumi, on behalf of the former LG councilors who were sacked before the expiration of their terms, instituted a garnishment procedure judgment against the Ekiti State government to compel it to perform the debt of the 2016 judgment, according to NAN.

Pass

Past Chairpersons and Local Government Councilors were elected on 20 December 2008 from the 16 Local Government Areas of Ekiti State. Their term was due to end in December 2011 but was terminated earlier by ex-governor Kayode Fayemi on October 29, 2010.

In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the 16 presidents, vice presidents and councilors of local governments. The Supreme Court ordered the state government to pay them their owed emoluments.

However, the state government has yet to implement the Supreme Court judgment, therefore, they have instituted garnishment proceedings to enforce the judgment debt.

What happened in court

The presiding judge, Judge Yellin Bogoro found the claim to be well-founded after reviewing all the processes before him in support of the claim.

It granted the requested relief but exempted the Central Bank of Nigeria as there was no evidence that AGF’s consent had been obtained.

“I have reviewed all of the proceedings filed in this court in support of the claim, I have also reviewed the applicable laws under which the claim is made.

“I find the merits of the request and I grant, even the request is granted.

“Only that the remedies sought will not apply to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the reason being that there is no evidence that the consent of the Attorney General of the Federation was not sought and obtained.”

“That a Nisi Order is granted fixing all sums at the maximum of one billion five hundred twenty-three million sixty-six thousand seven hundred naira”, said the judge.

The judge ordered that the Nisi order be served on the debtors of the government (the Ekiti State government) and the garnishees (the banks).

Some of the banks included First Bank, Keystone Bank, First City Monument Bank, Heritage Bank, Polaris Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank, Unity Bank, Wema Bank, United Bank for Africa.

After ordering the state government and banks to be put on notice, he adjourned the case until February 8, 2022.

What you should know

  • The judgment creditors, while seeking to be paid the remainder of their emoluments for their remaining term of office (15 months), obtained a Nisi order.
  • A garnishment procedure is instituted to enforce a judgment debt.
  • While the Ekiti State government is the judgment debtor, Mr. Adewumi and the other advisers are the judgment creditors in the lawsuit.

About Ruben V. Albin

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