Court Orders Service of Committal Application On First Bank, Others Over Unpaid Judgment Sum

Posted on July 25, 2022

 

 

A Lagos Federal High Court, has ordered the service of Committal application (Forms 48 and 49) on the First Bank Plc, at it’s headquarters, 35, Marina, Lagos, over the bank’s failure to obey an order of the court, compelling it to pay a judgment sum of N12.5 million.

 

 

 

Others listed to be served with the application alongside First Bank by the court are: Ibukun A. Awosika, Adesola K. Adeduntan and Francis O. Shobo, who are listed as first to fourth Contemnors in a motion Exparte application marked FHC/L/CS/825/2022, filed against them by a judgment creditor, Abdulaziz Nyanko.

 

 

Justice Peter Lifu, who presided over the court, made the service order on Friday, while granting the motion Exparte, filed by the judgment creditor, Nyanko, through his lawyer, Barrister Olukoya Ogungbeje.

 

 

 

The judgment creditor had approached the court, seeking the following reliefs: “an order granting him leave to commence contempt or committal proceedings against the first, second, third and fourth on ground of willful and persistent disobedience to the Order Absolute granted by the court on March 8, 2022

 

 

“An order compelling the first, second, third and fourth contemnors to personally appear before the Court to show cause why they should not be committed to prison until they purge themselves of contempt ground of wilful and persistent disobedience to the Order Absolute granted by this honourable Court on March 8, 2022.

 

 

 

“An order granting leave to him to serve Forms 48 and 49, on the contemnors through their reception/office at First Bank of Limited Headquarters Address at 35, Marina, Lagos to wit respectively, a. (First Bank Of Nigeria Limited) of First Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, 35, Marina, Lagos; b. (Ibukun A. Awosika) of First Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, 35, Marina, Lagos; c. (Adesola K. Adeduntan) of First Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, as 35, Marina, Lagos and d. (Francis O. Shobo) of First Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, 35, Marina, Lagos

 

 

 

“An order deeming the service on all the first, second, third and fourth Contemnors as personal and proper service.”

 

 

 

In moving the Motion Exparte, Ogungbeje told the court that the orders sought for are pursuant to Order 35 Rules 1 and 2 Of Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019; Section 287 (3); (6 6)(B) Of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Order IX Rule 13 (2) and (3) of the Judgment (Enforcement) Rules.

 

 

 

Justice Lifu, after hearing the submission of counsel to the judgment creditor, Ogungbeje, granted only relief three, “An order granting leave to him to serve Forms 48 and 49, on the Contemnors through their reception/office at First Bank of Limited Headquarters Address at 35, Marina, Lagos to wit respectively, a. (First Bank Of Nigeria Limited) of First Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, 35, Marina, Lagos; b. (Ibukun A. Awosika) of First Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, 35, Marina, Lagos; c. (Adesola K. Adeduntan) of First Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, as 35, Marina, Lagos and d. (Francis O. Shobo) of First Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, 35, Marina, Lagos.”

 

 

 

Justice Lifu however declined to grant reliefs one and two, which are the order compelling the appearance of the alleged Contemnors to show cause why they should not be committed to prison.

 

 

 

The judge has adjourned till October 18, for report of service and further hearing on the suit.

 

 

The judgment creditor, Nyanko, in an affidavit deposed to by Olalekan Azeez, a litigation secretary in the law firm of Lawflex Chambers of Olukoya Ogungbeje Esq, stated that on March 8, 2022, the honourable Court per Honourable Justice Tijjani G. Ringim in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/149/2019 Between AbdulAziz M.H Nyako Vs Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Others, granted an Order Absolute against the Contemnors for immediate payment of the Judgment sum of N12.5 million, to the applicant in a garnishee proceedings.

 

 

 

 

He stated that on March 10, 2022, the Judgment creditor through his counsel wrote a letter dated March 10, 2022 to the Contemnors. And that till date no response has been received by the Contemnors in respect of the letter written by the Judgment creditor’s counsel.

 

 

He also stated that, again on March 16, 2022, the judgment creditors counsel wrote another letter to the contemnors on the legal implication of their action and the position of law in this regard. And that since March 16, 2022 till date and despite letters written to the Contemnors, the Contemnors have bluntly refused to obey the Order Absolute granted by the court.

 

 

The deponet also stated that despite the valid and subsisting order of the Court, the Contemnors have failed to comply till date in utter disregard and willful disobedience to the order of the court. And that there is no pending order staying the execution of the Order “Absolute granted by the court in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/149/2019 Between AbdulAziz M.H Nyako Vs Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and others.

 

 

The deponet specifically stated that the contemnors being persons, creations and creatures of law are subject to the judicial powers of this Court preserved by section 6 (6) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And that there is nothing left in the proceedings in this suit other than compliance and obedience to the orders of this Court.

 

 

 

He further stated that the applicant has caused to filed the Forms 48 AND 49, for order for consequence of disobedience to court order on the Contemnors who have treated same with disdain. And that it will be difficult to serve the Contemnors personally with the Form 48 and 49 Court Processes except through their offices. And that there is need for an Order for service of the Forms 48 and 49 on the Contemnors by substituted means and the contemnors will be aware of the committal proceeding against them.

 

 

 

He stated that unless the application is granted, the Contemnors will continue to disobey the Order Absolute granted by the Court with impunity and will certainly not obey any further Order or directives given by this Honourable Court. And that this is an appropriate case in which the court should invoke its disciplinary jurisdiction to make the Contemnors comply and obey court orders and treat this Honourable court with respect and dignity.

 

 

 

The deponet while stating that the Contemnors will not be prejudiced by the grant of this application, added that it will be in the interest of justice to grant this application aimed at preserving the integrity, dignity and authority of the court.

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