Federal High Court, Port Hercourt Division, has ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to commence deduction of over N30 billion from the Federation Allocation Account, for Ebonyi State Government. In its Order Absolute, the Court equally ruled that the Ebonyi State Government should pay the firm, ANDREW BISHOPTON NIG LIMITED and its partners, Mauritz Walton Nig Limited, the sum of N118,787,380.00) and other sums for failing to keep to the terms of the contract agreement, it entered with the latter. Recall that in 2016, the Ebonyi State Government contracted ANDREW BISHOPTON NIG LIMITED to pursue and recover monies illegally deducted on both its foreign and local loans and facilities.
The firm, it was gathered, approached the Court following the state government alleged reluctance to keep to the agreed contract terms, a development that led to the illegal arrest and detention of a senior staff of the consultancy organisation, Mrs Jackie Ikeotuonye, by the former. The Court, presided over by Justice S. Dalyop Pam, in its Order Absolute, ruled that one of the Applicants or Judgment Creditors, ANDREW BISHOPTON NIG LIMITED, were treated unfairly by the Government.
A copy of the Ruling, dated November 2, 2022, read, “Upon this Garnishee Proceedings dated and filed on the 18th of July, 2022, and coming up for Ruling today, the 2nd day of November, 2022. Whereas all the parties are absent. M.N. Mohammed, SAN with K. Nkwocha, Esq. and R. Asher, Esq. of Counsel for the Judgment Creditors. P.N. Zephaniah, Esq. of Counsel for the 1st Garnishee Respondent. And the Honourable Court having delivered its Ruling in the open court today, the 2nd day of November, 2022. It is hereby ordered as follows: “An Order Absolute of this Honourable Court is hereby made DIRECTING the 2nd Garnishee (United Bank for Africa Plc) to, within 24 hours, pay the sum of One Hundred and Eighteen Million, Seven and Eighty-Seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty Naira) (N118,787,380.00) Only, attached from the account maintained by the Judgment Debtor, Government of Ebonyi State known as Ebonyi State Government Treasury Single Account with Account No: 1001158077 maintained with the 2nd Garnishee Bank, United Bank for Africa Plc into the designated Account Name: Mauritz Walton Nig Limited, Bank Name: Wema Bank Plc, Account No: 0122765584, to liquidate the judgment in this suit.
“An Order Absolute of this Honourable Court is hereby made DIRECTING the 1st Garnishee Bank (the Central Bank of Nigeria) to deduct at source, the sum of $29,854,856.9 (Twenty Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty-Six Dollars, Nine Cents) Only and the sum of N3,100,000,000.00 (Thirty Billion, One Hundred Million Naira) Only, respectively from the monthly Federation Allocation Account of the Judgment Debtor, Ebonyi State Government and credit same into the designated Account of the 2nd Judgment Creditor, Mauritz Walton Nig Limited, Bank Name: Wema Bank, Bank Account: 0122765584, to liquidate the judgment sum in this suit. Issued at Port Hercourt, under the seal of the Court and the Hand of the Presiding Judge, this 2nd day of November, 2022.”