Court Order: CBN, three other banks fail to disclose ABU account balance

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The Central Bank of Nigeria and three other banks ordered by National Industrial Court, Abuja, to disclose the balance standing of Ahmadu Bello University accounts on Thursday failed to do so.
The other banks are: First Bank Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc and ABU Microfinance Bank (Main and Kongo Campuses.
NAN reports that on January 22, Justice Rakiya Haastrup, ordered the four banks to within 14 days disclose the balance standing of all accounts operated by the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
Justice Haastrup, made the order while ruling on a motion ex-parte, filed by 110 staff of the university, wrongly sacked by the authority of the institution.
The CBN, one of the named garnishee banks had filed and served sworn affidavit to the effect that the court lacked the jurisdiction to garnishee an account with them.
On its part, First Bank Plc filed an affidavit claiming that the university had a zero account balance with them.
Following similar route, Fidelity Bank had claimed that ABU did not have an active account with it.
Expectedly, the ABU Microfinance Bank, the 4th garnishee bank, told the court that it transferred all the institution’s fund into a Treasury Single Account in line with CBN directives.
The claimant’s Counsel, Femi Adedeji, however, told the court that he had an objection with the 4th garnishee bank’s claim.
He said he discovered that it was during the judgment of the ‘garnishee nisi’ (temporary) that the Microfinance bank transferred about N30 Million to the TSA in violation of the order of the court.
Adedeji said: “The Microfinance bank transferred the fund specifically on January 25, after the order of the court for them to disclose ABU’s account balance on January 22.
“My Lord this was a deliberate attempt on their part to avoid paying part of the applicant/judgment creditors money.’’
The judgment debtor (ABU), through its counsel had informed the court of its application to set aside the court’s order but was vehemently objected to by Adedeji.
Justice Haastrup in a ruling held that all issues in respect of CBN’s application to set aside the garnishee order should be formally placed before the court.
The CBN had prayed for the setting aside of the order for lack of fair hearing.
The Judge thereafter fixed March 12, for hearing of all pending applications.

NAN reports that on the January 22, ruling on the motion ex-parte, Justice Haastrup said the exhibition of the outstanding amount was necessary in order to satisfy the judgment debt owed by virtue of Justice P.O. Lifu’s judgment delivered on November 30, 2015.
Haastrup also made an order, directing the banks to show cause why they should not pay the N2.5 billion plus Claimant/Judgment Creditors Salaries from July 2016 to date.
She held that the amount to be paid included 10 per cent interest awarded the applicant/judgment creditors in the judgment as outstanding salaries and other emoluments.
The court, had in November 2017 struck out a motion of stay of execution, filed by the university to stall the payment of the amount.
The 110 workers, whose appointments were terminated in 1996, had dragged the university to court, claiming they were wrongly terminated.
The court, on November 30, 2015, ruled in favour of the workers, ordering the university to reinstate them and pay their entitlements.
The university is yet to comply with the orders, which has necessitated this latest applicant seeking the garnishing of the institution’s bank accounts with the above four banks.