January 26, 2023

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) sitting in Kaduna has granted a garnishee order in favour of 71 retired Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Service (HoS) in the state over the deduction of their monthly pensions by the state government.

The garnishee order given to the Guaranty Trust Bank, Unity Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, and Access Bank Plc is to the sum of N984,405,659 as of September 2022 plus the cost of N100,000 standing to the credit of the judgment debtors/respondents and or its organs in all accounts operated within the garnishees.

This followed an exparte application filed on the 11th of October 2022 by the senior counsel to the claimants/applicants, Samuel Atung SAN.

In May 2020, the plaintiffs, through the counsel, dragged Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, and Kaduna State Attorney General to the National Industrial Court challenging the deduction of their pension for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the state without their prior notice in a case instituted on the ground of pension right of the plaintiffs as enshrined under Section 210 of the 1999 constitution as amended, challenging the decision of the Kaduna State Government on the deduction of monthly pension of the plaintiffs in the matter.

Hon. Justice Sinmisola Oluyinka Adeniyi, in her judgement, granted all the prayers as sought and declared that Kaduna State Government lacks the power to deduct their pensions without their consent and ordered the state government to pay them the difference of their pension from March 2020 till date and continue their payments accordingly.

Mercy Umar Esq, the Head of Chambers of the Gatekeepers Law Consult, while addressing a press conference on behalf of the plaintiffs’ counsel explained that the state government failed to adhere to the judgement despite efforts made for amicable settlement through correspondence to the government which was not honoured hence the need for the exparte application.

In the exparte application, the plaintiff sought “an Order nisi attaching all funds/money standing to the credit of the judgement debtors/respondents and or their organs in the custody of the 1st Garnishee, especially in account number 311-254333110 that is, Kaduna Account general operational account domicile with it’s Murtala Muhammed square branch Kaduna in satisfaction of the judgement in the Honourable court delivered on the 7th day of July 2021.

“An Order nisi attaching all funds/money standing to the credit of the judgement debtors/respondents and or their organs in the custody of the 2nd Garnishee especially in account number 0024655394 i.e Kaduna Account general operational account domicile with its Yakubu Gowon Way, Kaduna, branch in satisfaction of the judgement in the honourable court delivered on the 7th day of July 2021.

“An Order nisi attaching all funds/money standing to the credit of the judgement debtors/respondents and or their organs in the custody of the 3rd Garnishee especially Kaduna state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) with account number 1014386704 domiciled at Kachia road branch Kaduna in satisfaction of the judgement in the Honourable court delivered on the 7th day of July 2021.

“An Order nisi attaching all funds/money standing to the credit of the judgement debtors/respondents and or their organs in the custody of the 4th Garnishee especially at its Kano road branch, Kaduna and Lafia road branch in satisfaction of the judgement in the Honourable court delivered on the 7th day of July 2021.

“An Order directing the garnishees to produce before this honourable court the judgement debtors /respondents statement of accounts in respect of all accounts domiciled with them.”

Upon hearing of the application on 17/10/2022, the trial judge of the NICN, Kaduna division, granted all the prayers as sought.

“An Order nisi is hereby issued against the garnishees, namely, GTB, Unity, Access bank, to show cause why they shall not pay the applicants the sum of N984,405,659:68 only awarded in favour of the applicants.

“The garnishees shall show cause within 14 days of being served the Order”.

The matter is set down till 03/11/2022 for the garnishees to show cause.

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