Justice Tijani Ringim of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered some commercial banks in Nigeria to appear and show cause in a N20 million suit against the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.
It made the order for parties to appear and show cause following a garnishee suit filed by a Lagos Lawyer, David Enemona.
The applicant had in 2021 filed a suit, Number: FHC/CS/373/2021, against LASTMA on allegations of unlawful extortion of money from him following illegal impoundment of his vehicle
Other respondents in the suit were the Attorney-General of Lagos State and M. Ogunde, a LASTMA official.
The applicant sought for an order declaring as unlawful the imposition and collection of N20,000 by the respondent as fine under the pretex of a “phantom traffic”, which allegedly happened on February 18, 2021 along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
He had averred that the said payment as well as impoundment and detention of his Toyota Camry, without any form of trial,, hearing or order, is unconstitutional and a breach of his right to fair hearing.
The court had on June 20, 2022 entered judgement in favour of the applicant, awarding the sum of N20 million against the respondents for a reckless violation of the applicant’s right.
On Monday, the applicant’s counsel, Anayo Ishiwu, brought an exparte motion before the court on the grounds that the judgement debtors had failed till date to offset the judgement debt despite demand letters
The garnishee banks listed in the motion exparte include Access Bank, Polaris Bank, Enterprise Bank, Wema Bank, Union Bank, UBA, Stanbic IBTC, RCMB, Sterling Bank, Ecobank and First Bank Plc.
The applicant is seeking a garnishee order nisi compelling the banks in which the defendant has funds to appear and show cause with respect to funds standing to the credit of the judgement debtors.
When the case was called, Counsel to the applicant informed the court of his motion exparte seeking a garnishee order nisi on the respondent banks to appear and show cause.
He moved his application and adopted his written address, affidavit in support as well as attached exhibits in urging the court to grant his application.
The applicant seeks a garnishee order nisi attaching all sums standing to the credit of the judgement debtor in all other accounts accruing from the garnishee banks to the judgment debtor as may be sufficient to satisfy the debt.
He wants an order directing the garnishee banks to prepare and file on oath a statement of account showing the judgment debtors’ financial status up to date in the garnishee banks.
He wants an order directing the garnishee to pay all sums attached as judgment debt and standing to the credit of the judgment debtors.
After listening to the application moved by applicant’s counsel, Justice Ringim held that he finds merit in the application.
He consequently ordered the respondents to appear before the court on February 8, 2023 and show cause why an order absolute should not be made against them.
The court ordered service of the motion on notice and hearing notices to be issued on the respondents.