Court orders Taraba govt to pay pension arrears of Jolly Nyame, others

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The National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered the Taraba State Government to pay Jolly Nyame his pension arrears.

Mr Nyame and three other judgement creditors – Uba Ahmadu, Abubakar Armayau and Bilkisu Danboyi – had filed a ‘garnishee proceeding’, which is a judicial process of enforcement of a monetary judgement by confiscation of assets belonging to the judgement debtor.

Judgement

On Tuesday, the National Industrial Court ordered the Taraba government to pay Mr Nyame and other judgement creditors in the suit.

The judge, Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae, ruled that the judgement debtor – Taraba State Government – did not challenge the judgement creditors’ claims, having signed an undertaking to pay their pension arrears.

The court held that the undertaking was an attempt to stop the expected execution of the judgment.

Preliminary objection dismissed

Earlier, Mrs Obaseki-Osaghae dismissed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s preliminary objection.

The central bank (CBN) had challenged the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the case,

In its objection, the CBN contended that as an agency of the federal government, only a High Court could carry out a garnishee proceeding against it, as provided by Section 251, 1(d) of the 1999 Constitution, and Section 84 of the Sheriff & Civil Process Act, which rule 2 & 3 of the Judgement Enforcement Rule, is attached to.

But the judge said the CBN’s objection lacked merit.

The judge stated that the CBN was not a public officer in the context of Section 84 of the Sheriff & Civil Process Act.

The court further held that it had the power to enforce the monetary judgement through a garnishee proceeding.

Mrs Obaseki-Osaghae also said the industrial court is of coordinate jurisdiction with the High Court, and its judgement could be enforced in a garnishee proceeding.

The judge said the judgement creditors in their court filings disclosed that the judgement debtor had its funds with the CBN.

The court declared the order of garnishee of December 2021, absolute.

Tuesday’s judgement is another success for Mr Nyame, who stole public funds while he was Taraba governor.

Mr Nyame, who was governor of Taraba State from 1999 to 2007, was jailed for 14 years for fraud in May 2018 by an Abuja High Court.

But President Muhammadu Buhari recently pardoned him and dozens of other convicts, an action that drew the anger of many Nigerians.

 


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