An FCT High Court in Kubwa has fixed Sept. 23, to rule on a motion seeking Unity Bank to join Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor in contempt proceedings against him by a businessman, Godwin Emmanuel.
Justice Bello Kawu fixed the date after Unity Bank plc’s counsel, Emmanuel Udegbunam moved a motion seeking to join Emefiele in the contempt proceedings.
Udegbunam had told the court that the applicant’s counsel, Maxwell Okpara had reacted to the said application and served him with reactions on June 11 and asked for an adjournment to reply.
Okpara, however, withdrew his reaction and applied for the case to go on in order not to waste the time of the court.
Udegbunam moved his motion dated April 16, filed on the 17th pursuant to Order 49 and 13, Rule 1 and 18 sub 1 and 3 of the Rules of the Court.
He prayed for an order to join Unity Bank Plc into the suit supporting it with a seven-paragraph affidavit with 17 exhibits, written addresses and relied on its contents.
He urged the court to grant his application in the interest of justice saying the essence is there are facts to be brought before the court on the matter.
Okpara, however, sought leave of court to make a reply on point of law saying a contemnor is one who has committed contempt of court and refused to comply with court order.
” The party seeking to join Emefiele is a company and they never disobeyed a court order, it is Emefiele that disobeyed. A criminal trial is personal,” he said.
Udegbunam in response said the money sought is in custody of Unity Bank which is the party seeking to be joined and it should not be out because it is involved with the funds of the party in the suit.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Okpara, on behalf of his client Emmanuel filed a contempt proceeding against the CBN governor on April 4 for disobeying a court order to pay Emmanuel N52.5 million.
The court gave an order for substituted service on the CBN Governor on the matter on April 10 as efforts made to serve him personally proved abortive.
Okpara said judgement was given against Unity Bank to pay the said sum to Emmanuel by an FCT High Court, Gwagwalada sometime in 2015.
He, however, applied for a garnishee proceeding against CBN in 2017 which was granted and Unity Bank did not appeal against the judgment.