Unpaid salary arrears: Court orders Sterling Bank to pay N1.7m judgment debt

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The National Industrial Court on Wednesday ordered Sterling Bank Plc to pay N1.7 million as judgment debt.

Delivering judgment, Justice Benedict Kanyip, also directed that the claimants be paid N576,720 each,  being the judgment sum of N1.7 million, which was their unpaid salary arrears.

Kanyip in addition said evidence of the payment should be deposited in the case file before the court.

He further submitted that Sterling Bank, the garnishee would thereafter be discharged and he made no further order as to cost.

Earlier, the matter was slated for the judgment debtors, Arksego Nig.Ltd and Sterling Bank to appear before the court to show cause why the order of Nissi made, should not be made absolute against them.

Although  the first judgment debtor, Arksego Nig. Ltd. was absent in court and had no legal representation, Sterling Bank, the second judgment debtor, through its counsel, Akogu Egene, informed the court that they had an affidavit of cause before the court.

The judge however said there was no such process before the court and the judgment creditors counsel, Aremiyau Aduku also aligned with the same submission that he had not been served.

Egene who made copies available at the judge’s request, also indicated that the first defendant had an account domiciled with his bank.

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In addition, he said the said account had a total sum of N2.5 million.

Aduku on his part informed the court that the judgment sum was N1.7 million and the judge ordered the bank to pay the claimants when Egene said he was not objecting to it.

Aduku thereafter said that he had an application praying for N200,000 as cost for the garnishee proceedings.

The counsel also applied that the payment should be raised in a draft in the name of Igomu & Co, his principal.

The court however, declined to grant these prayers.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN),  reports that the same court delivered judgment in favour of the three claimants Yerima Hussaini, Ikobulu Adams and Akor Agbo, on May 27,2020.

The claimants who instituted the suit against their former employer prayed for their unpaid salary arrears of 15 months from May 15, 2015 to March 7, 2016, amongst other prayers.

The claimants who were security personnel with the first defendant did challenge the termination of their appointments.

The judgment debtor, Arksego Nig. Ltd., did not obey the court judgment and the judgment creditors had instituted a garnishee proceedings before the same court.

NAN reports that a garnishee proceeding is a judicial process of execution or enforcement of monetary judgment whereby money belonging to a judgment debtor, in the hands or possession of a third party known as the ‘Garnishee’ usually a bank, is attached or seized by a judgment creditor, in satisfaction of a judgment sum or debt.(NAN)

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