THISDAY

Court Orders Oyo to Pay N61m Debt to Nigeria Railway Corporatio­n

- Tobi Soniyi

In a bid to satisfy a judgement sum of N61million, a Lagos State High Court at the Tafawa Balewa Square has ordered that N61million belonging to the Oyo State Government domicile in Polaris Bank be paid to the Railway Property Management Company Limited, and the Nigeria Railway Corporatio­n (NRC).

The order of the court was sequel to an applicatio­n filed and argued before the court by a Lagos lawyer, Dr. Francis Chuka Agbu SAN on behalf of Railway Property Management Company Limited and NRC.

In an affidavit in support of the applicatio­n sworn to by a legal practition­er, Caesar Anyeabosi, the deponent averred that Railway Property Management Company Limited and NRC instituted a legal action against the governor of Oyo State, the state Attorney General and Commission­er for Justice and the state Commission­er for Lands and Housing-all defendants-before the High Court of Oyo State, upon which a consent judgement was entered in favour of the applicants.

The Oyo State High Court among other things ordered the defendants to pay the sum of N60million to the applicants but the defendants failed to comply with the said order of the court following which a garnishee proceeding was initiated against them.

The judgement was transmitte­d by the registrar of the Oyo State High Court to the registrar of the Lagos State High Court; consequent­ly, the judgement was registered by the Lagos High Court, which thereafter granted the applicants’ applicatio­n to enforce the judgement in Lagos State.

However, the defendants refused to pay the judgement sum of N60 millions being the compensato­ry amount evaluated by both parties to be paid to the applicants.

The applicants’ lawyer argued that the defendants maintained bank accounts with the 23 commercial banks listed before the court, and then urged the court to issue an order giving effect to the consent judgement as the defendants have not appealled the judgement sought to be enforced by the garnishee proceeding, neither has any applicatio­n for stay of execution been filed.

In her ruling, the trial Judge, E. I. Alakija (Mrs.), ordered that the sum of N60 million held in any current, savings, revenue or investment accounts in whatever form or name with the listed banks belonging to or being operated by the Oyo Sate Government be attached however named or styled in satisfacti­on of the judgement debt owed to the applicants.

The court also directed the defendants to pay the sum of N1million as the cost of the garnishee proceeding.

The court had initially granted a decree nisi asking the Oyo State Government to show any cause why the order should not be made absolute.

When the applicatio­n to make the order absolute was filed and argued by the defendants’ lawyer, it was opposed by the counsel to the defendants, who is also the Director of Civil Litigation and Advisory Services to the Oyo State Government, Mr. S.O. Adeoye.

Justice Alakija rejected the defendants’ arguments and consequent­ly made the order absolute.

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