A Lagos Division of the Federal High court has granted an “Order Nisi” to garnishee accounts belonging to Ekiti State Government domiciled in several commercial banks in Nigeria.
An order Nisi, is an order that directs a garnishee (mostly banks) to appear in court on a specific date and show cause why an order should not be made upon it for the payment of a judgement debt from the account of a judgement debtor to a judgement creditor.
In a suit marked: FHC//L/CS/1229/2021, the applicant, Mr Oladimeji Olugbenga Adewumi on behalf of the former LG councillors who were sacked before the expiration of their tenure, instituted a garnishee proceeding against the Ekiti state government to compel it to enforce the 2016 judgement debt, according to NAN.
The former Local government chairmen and councillors were elected on December 20, 2008 across the 16 local government areas of Ekiti state. Their tenure was supposed to end in December 2011 but was terminated earlier by ex-governor Kayode Fayemi on October 29, 2010.
The Supreme Court had in 2016 delivered a judgement in favour of the 16 local government chairmen, Vice chairmen and councillors. The apex court ordered the state government to pay to them their outstanding emoluments.
However, the state government is yet to implement the supreme court’s judgement, hence, they instituted a garnishee proceeding seeking to enforce the judgement debt.
What happened In court
The presiding judge, Justice Yellin Bogoro held that the application has merit after considering all the processes before him in support of the application.
He granted the reliefs sought but exempted the Central Bank of Nigeria because there was no evidence that the consent of the AGF was obtained.
“I have considered all the processes filed before this court supporting the application, I have also considered the extant laws under which the application is brought.
“I find merit in the application and I grant, same the application is granted.
“Only that the reliefs sought shall not apply to the Central Bank of Nigeria, reason being that there is no evidence that the consent of the Attorney-General of the Federation has not been sought and obtained.”
“That an Order Nisi is granted attaching all sums to the maximum of one billion, five hundred and twenty-three million, sixty-six thousand, seven hundred naira,” the judge said.
The judge ordered that the order Nisi be served to the government debtors (Ekiti state gov’t) 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 directing that the state government and banks be put on notice, He adjourned the matter till February 8, 2022.
What you should know
- The judgement creditors, while seeking to be paid the remainder of their emoluments for their remaining term in office (15 months), have obtained an order Nisi.
- A garnishee proceeding is instituted to enforce a judgement debt.
- While the Ekiti state government is the judgement debtor, Mr Adewumi and the other councillors are the judgement creditors in the suit.