An FCT High Court, has granted permission to 17 banks to show cause why plea for garnishee of accounts operated by Imo State Government should not be made absolute.
NAN reports a garnishee order is a common form of enforcing a judgment debt against a creditor to recover money.
The court directs a third party that owes money to the judgment debtor to instead pay the judgment creditor.
Justice Bello Kawu made the order on Thursday in a motion exparte filed by two judgment creditors, E.F. Network Nig Ltd and Gideon Egbuchulam.
The banks are: Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Jaiz Bank, Union Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa, First Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, Keystone Bank Plc, and Diamond Bank Plc.
The rest are: Fidelity Bank Plc, Polaris Bank Plc, GTBank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Heritage Bank Plc, and FCMB Bank Plc.
The applicants prayed the court to order the banks to appear before it within 14 days of service to show cause why they should not pay over to the judgment creditor the N1 billion owed them by Imo State Government.
The respondents are Attorney-General of Imo State, Environmental Transformation Committee (Imo Entraco) and The Ministry of Environment, Imo State.
The leave followed the March 8 decision of the Supreme Court that affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal Owerri which ordered the state defendants to pay the N1 billion contract debt owed the applicants.
The apex court held that the appeal filed by the Imo State Government and Governor Rochas Okorocha challenging the judgment of the lower court was not meritorious.
The court, therefore, went ahead to order the Imo State Governor and the other appellants in the appeal to immediately pay the firm and its promoter, Egbuchulam, the judgment sum.
The judgment sum was an outstanding amount left unpaid in a contract awarded to the company in 2008 under the administration of the state’s former Governor, Ikedi Ohakim.
The apex court went ahead to dismiss the appeal and awarded N500,000 cost against the state government.
The company and its promoter were contracted by Ohakim’s administration, which Okorocha succeeded, to implement the state’s Clean and Green Initiative.
The firm was awarded a contract to supply 10 million refuse bags and 40,000 plastic rolling containers at N42 per bag and N20 per plastic container.