Industrial Court Orders Polaris, Ecobank to Pay Judgment Creditor Henry Onovwiemore N6.6m within 30 Days

The Presiding Judge, Awka Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice John Targema has ordered  Polaris Bank and Ecobank to pay Judgment creditor Mr. Henry Onovwiemore the sum of Six Million Four Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand Naira Only (N6,435,000) garnishee and ?200, 000.00 costs of action respectively within 30 days.

Justice Targema held that the application of the judgment creditor- Mr. Henry Onovwiemore for the order nisi granted on October 2020 against the judgment debtor- the Delta State University be made absolute is meritorious.

From facts, the claimant- Mr. Henry Onovwiemore had sought an order nisi attaching the sum of ?6, 435, 000.00 (Six million, four hundred and thirty-five thousand naira) being the salary and accrued interest from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020 against the judgment debtor in his favour by virtue of the judgment of the Court delivered on 10 November 2015 as the judgment debtor failed, refused and neglected to comply with (or obey) the judgment; and the cost of ?200, 000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) for the garnishee proceedings.

Furthermore, on 22 October 2020, the court granted the order nisi against Ecobank Nigeria Ltd, Zenith Bank Plc, and Polaris Bank Limited as the garnishees asking them to show cause why the order nisi should not be made absolute and they responded in affirmative that there exist sufficient funds in the accounts belonging to the judgment debtor to meet the judgment debt.

In defense, the judgment debtor’s- Delta State University sought for an order to set aside the garnishee order because the application might result to a serious miscarriage of justice and the Court has no jurisdiction to do so on basis of an error on the service of the order nisi on the judgment debtor/applicant.

The counsel to the University, M.I. Osogbue, Esq contended that the six years statutory period for the enforcement of the judgment by the judgment creditor against the judgment debtor expired on 10 November 2021 and therefore the entire judgment or any portion therefore that has not been enforced before now remains unenforceable; and urged the court to dismiss the application.

In reply, the counsel to the judgment creditor, Bamidele Uche Igbinedion, Esq submitted that Delta State University is not disputing its indebtedness to his client; urged the court to grant the relief sought.

Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submissions of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice John Targema dismissed Delta State University counsel claim and held that personal service on the University has been established and acknowledged as required by law, and the subsequent actions of counsel representing the judgment debtor have conferred validity on the proceedings.

Justice Targema found the application of the judgment creditor for the order nisi of 22 October 2020 to be made absolute meritorious.  

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