The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Wednesday dismissed the preliminary objection raised by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in a N2.5 billion garnishee proceeding instituted by 110 disengaged workers of Ahmadu Bello University(ABU), Zaria.
Justice Haastrup overruled the submission of the central bank and held that when it comes to garnishee proceeding, the CBN is like any regular bank and not an agent of the government.
Mr Haastrup also ruled that the consent of the Attorney-General of the Federation was not required as the Attorney-General is also a judgment debtor in the suit.
The preliminary objection was raised when the court gave garnishee order on ABU’s account with the CBN.
Ekokoiesua Urua, CBN’s counsel, filed a motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction to garnish accounts of government agencies with them.
The apex bank also said that the Attorney General of the Federation’s consent needed to be sought before an account maintained by them can be garnished.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the appointments of 110 ABU workers were terminated in 1996, when the institution was run by a Sole Administrator.
They approached the court in 2012, after failure of the institution to implement the recommendations of various visitation panels, which recommended that they be reinstated and all their entitlements paid.
The court ruled in favour of the workers in 2015 and ordered the university to reinstate them and pay their entitlements, which amounted to N2.5 billion.
Non-compliance with the court judgment necessitated the garnishee order on the institution’s bank accounts.
The case was adjourned until June 21 for CBN to file an affidavit to show cause and for continuation of hearing on pending applications.
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