Garnishee Order: Industrial Court Strikes Out Federal Ministry of Finance Preliminary Objection
The presiding Judge of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Kano Judicial division, His Lordship, Hon. Justice E. D. Isele has struck out the preliminary objection filed by the Garnishee Federal Ministry of Finance on the order of the court to explain why the order absolute should not be made against it.
The court held that the argument that the Federal Ministry of Finance is not a juristic person amount to technicalities which must not be allowed to defeat the ends of justice.
The preliminary objection filed has to do with the judgment of the Honourable court delivered on the 21st May, 2014 per Mani J of blessed memory, wherein the court ordered reinstatement of the judgment creditor- Abdullahi Abubakar to the service of the Nigerian Police force with his full rank, position and benefits and for payment of all his salaries, allowances and entitlements from the 7th of February, 1995 to date.
That up till date the judgment Debtors- Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police have refused to comply with the Order of the court which caused the judgment creditor to initiate garnishee proceedings against the Judgment Debtors.
On the 23rd April 2019 the Judgment Creditor filed a motion exparte of a garnishee Order Nisi deducting directly from source the judgment sum of N33,853,824.62 and the order nisi was given on the 8th of May, 2019, Ordering the Garnishee, the Federal Ministry of finance to show cause why the order absolute should not be made against it.
Thereafter the Garnishee- Federal Ministry of finance filed preliminary objection averred that the Garnishee is not a juristic person, that the Federal Ministry of Finance does not maintain any account for the Judgment Debtors or any Government organization and the Garnishee is not a custodian of the Judgment Debtor’s fund or any public fund, and also that the Garnishee is not indebted to the judgment debtors.
Delivering the ruling, the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Isele held that the Garnishee Federal Ministry of Finance does not have the locus to go this far to forestall the garnishee proceeding initiated by the judgment creditor to realise the fruit of the judgment entered in his favour this court since the 21st of May, 2014.
“The argument that the Federal Ministry of Finance is not a juristic person is equally hereby discountenanced as the arguments therein amount to technicalities which must not be allowed to defeat the ends of justice.” Justice Isele ruled.