For the refusal of Benue and Plateau State Governments to pay court workers, accounts belonging to the two states in Skye, Zenith and First Banks have been frozen by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Ademola Adeniyi gave the order while ruling on two ex-parte motions filed by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), who sought to freeze the states’ accounts in the banks over their alleged refusal to pay about N1.6 billion to satisfy the January 13, 2014 judgement given by the judge.
He said: “An order nisi is hereby made attaching the money belonging to the 15th and 16th judgement debtors/respondents domiciled with Skye Bank Plc, Makurdi Branch – account number 170008758 to satisfy the judgement awarded in favour of the judgement creditor/applicant”.
Justice Adeniyi also made a similar order in relation to Plateau State’s accounts in the banks, ordering the “garnishee to show cause why the order nisi should not be made absolute by the court.”
The union stated, in their ex-parte motions, that the amount due to Benue State judiciary “as at March 2015, is N957,630,349.57” and the amount due to the Plateau State judiciary for the same period is N673,019,948.19. Governors Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Jonah Jang (Plateau) and their Attorneys-General were listed as the 15th and 16th; 63rd and 64th defendants in the motions. JUSUN said Benue and Plateau, who were parties in the main suit, have “bluntly refused to obey the judgement of the court”.
It said governments of both states owe their workers, who are members of the union “arrears of salary and other funds due to them up to March, 2015”.
They stated, in the supporting affidavits, that all efforts made to the state governments “to comply with the judgement of this honourable court fell on deaf ears”.
The case has been adjourned to June 1.
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