Okorocha In Tears As Court Garnishee Imo Accounts
This is indeed a very troubled days for APC heavy weight.
While Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State is still battling with his dwindling political fortunes, invasion of his property and secret rumblings from the State House of Assembly, a court has ordered the enforcement of a Garnishee order granted former Governor Ikedi Ohakim against the Imo State Government to the tune of N290, 068,717.57
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This is also as four commercial banks, Diamond Bank on Item Street; First Bank on Bank Road; United Bank for Africa on Mbari Street and Union Bank on Douglas Road, all in Owerri, the Imo State capital were sealed and officially secured by red tapes.
A notice from National Industrial Court in Owerri, dated November 6, 2018 pasted in front of the banks indicated that the affected banks had failed to honour the Garnishee order issued by the court.
The execution order issued by Justice O.O Arowosegbe read in part: “An order granting leave to issue writ of execution of the order of this honourable court made in this suit on February 23, 2018, against, second, third, sixth and seventh Garnishees, that is Diamond Bank, First Bank, United Bank for Africa and Union Bank, respectively.”
A judgment of court dated February 23, 2018 had ordered the affected banks to pay the plaintiff, Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, his claims from Imo State Government accounts domiciled with the banks which they refused to comply with.
The judgment partly reads further: “Order absolute is made against the 5th Garnishee (Skye bank) to the tune of N112, 000,000,00. Order absolute to the tune of N44,790,831.34 is made against the sixth Garnishee, UBA, less the minimum amount required to maintain the account.”
“Order absolute is made against the 7th Garnishee, Union Bank, to the tune of N8,824,24072, less the minimum amount required to maintain the account. The 4th Garnishee is accordingly discharged.”
“In all, the order absolute has been made on a cumulative total of N290,068,717.57, which total sum is to be paid over to this court vide the Chief Registrar, National Industrial Court of Nigeria within 14 days.”
It will be recalled that following the non-payment of his entitlements as a former governor of Imo State by the Okorocha administration, Dr. Ikedi Ohakim had gone to court to seek redress.
The court delivered judgement in favour of Ohakim on May 24, 2016, but Okorocha allegedly refused to honour the court judgment, forcing Ohakim to go to court to enforce the judgment against the state government by asking the court to issue an order to banks where Imo Government accounts are domiciled, mandating them to pay him.
A request, the court granted through a Garnishee order on February 23, 2018, but the banks failed to pay the plaintiff. Ohakim yet again returned to the court to get an order for the sealing of the affected banks until the entitlements are paid.
A staff of one of the banks who spoke to our correspondent said: “My branch was not actually affected but the thing is that the Garnishee order is not against our bank but on the State Government Accounts in our bank.
I understand the red tapes may have been removed with an understanding. Be that as it may, from where we stand now, we have no choice but to obey the court judgment, comply with the order and pay the claimant.∴