Judges-wig

The petition written to the Chief Judge of the High Court of Kano State, Justice Nasir Sagir on IRO illegal execution of order absolute with respect to the garnisheeproceedings in A.S HIDE & SKIN V.MULTITAN LTD seem not to have got a positive outcome from the CJ, following his reply.

From the information received from the office of the chief Judge, and made available to TheNigerialawyer there seems not to be any headway as he is unable to intervene. The reason given is that, he should not be seen as interfering with the function of the Chief Registrar.

He is said to have advised the Bank that it should instead follow up with the Judge directly to get a date. This is despite a complaint that the Chief Registrar was intentionally refusing to give dates for the hearing of both motions (for stay and orders to stop the drafts).

TheNigerialawyer recalls that an Order absolute had been made against the Bank on April 30, 2018, for funds not in the J. Debtor’s account. The Court (High Court of Justice of Kano State) had held that the Bank had not shown that the J.Debtor was indeed indebted to the Bank and that the statement of account produced was not sufficient to establish this. The Bank then filed an appeal and application for stay of execution on May 2, 2018. However, the Deputy Sheriff’s office levied execution of the Order Absolute on May 4, 2018 leading to the Bank compulsorily issuing a draft for the total judgment sum.

It was also affirmed that the Bank thereafter filed a further motion seeking orders to restrain the offices of the Chief Registrar and Deputy Sheriff respectively from presenting the draft for paymentin which the Chief Registrar and Deputy Sheriff were duly served with the processes. Yet, the Deputy Sheriff returned to the branch in Kano on Wednesday May 23, 2018 demanding the reissuance of the previous draft in several drafts to cover sums not exceeding N10Million and that the Bank was compelled to comply, despite the pendency of the appeal against the Order and the several motions on notice awaiting hearing, hence,the petition to the Chief Judge stating the very clear elements of bias and the concern with the handling of this matter. Some of the facts disclosed in the petition are as follows:

That the Order was made absolute for the total judgment debt despite the Bank not having the funds of the J. Debtor and the J.Debtor being indebted to the Bank; the Order has made absolute for the total judgment debt plus cost of the garnishee proceedings despite part of the judgment debt having been recovered, which should ordinarily reduce the judgment debt; the execution of the judgment by the Deputy Sheriff was without a Writ of attachment signed by the Judge; he execution was after the Bank had filed the appeal; the second visit of the Deputy Sheriff on May 23, 2018 was after the Bank had filed the motion on notice for orders to prevent the presentation of the draft and the Chief Registrar has refused to give a date for hearing of both applications but rather stalling to get the judgment sum paid.

The petitioners have however voiced their fears about the whole matter while speaking with TheNigerialawyer. In their words:

“The MCs have meanwhile been presented and have been returned unpaid through clearing this morning for being the subject of litigation. With this development (disposition of the Chief Judge of Kano State), and the inability of the Court to draw on the MCs there is the threat that the Deputy Sheriff may return (the third time) to the branch or any of the Bank’s branches in Kano. Where this occurs we stand the risk of the Bank’s assets in Kano being attached or the Bank being compelled to pay the judgment sum to avoid further harassment by the Kano State Judiciary.

“We have been informed further that even if the Bank sues the offices of the Chief Registrar and the Deputy Sheriff, this would not deter these offices from returning to attach our assets as they have maintained that an order must be in place before they can be stopped.”

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