Court freezes NCC’s account
A Lagos High Court Judge, Justice Olateru-Olagbegi has ordered that all accounts of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) with Nigerian Banks, particularly Diamond Bank of Nigeria Plc, be frozen.
This was made through an order of Garnishee nisi secured by the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN) against Diamond Bank attaching the accounts of the NCC in Suit No. NRJ/08/2011 on 16th November 2011 all the accounts of the NCC held by the bank were frozen thus preventing the Commission from further accessing the accounts.
Meanwhile, on December 13, 2011, the NCC through its lawyers, approached the Lagos High Court seeking the discharge of Garnishee Order Nisi on the claim that the salaries of its staff had not been paid since November 2011 as the attached accounts contained the salaries and emoluments of the staff. MCSN's lawyer, Mr. Olumide Ekisola of Adejumo, Ekisola & Ezeani law firm, replied that there was nothing in the processes filed by the NCC showing that the NCC's accounts with a private bank is a consolidated account and furthermore that since all the issues and authorities relied upon were already contained in the affidavits and written addresses filed before the Court, they were ready to take the applications.
The court, after hearing claims and counterclaims from both parties and adoption of their written processes , reserved ruling on the matter to a date to be communicated to the parties.
Earlier in the hearing, the Director General of the NCC, Mr. Amodu Augustine Alewu, Mr. Henry Njoku and Inspector General of Police who are co-respondent debtors in the suit were discharged from the proceedings following an application filed by MCSN through their lawyer to discontinue with them, an application that was opposed by the NCC initially. It later withdrew its opposition.
After court's proceeding , the MCSN's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Orits Williki and Mayo Ayilaran respectively declined comments, saying since the matter is already before a law court he could not make not a categorical statement.
He directed any question or inquiries to their lawyers.
It would be recalled that the Federal High Court, Lagos, presided over by Honourable Justice Archibong had on July 25, 2011 entered judgment against the Nigerian Copyright Commission in favour of MCSN in which it ordered that the NCC should pay damages in the sum of N40 Million to MCSN.
Speaking with the Director, Public Affairs, Nigeria Copyright Commission, Mr. Obi in a telephone chat said that since the matter is in court, he could not comment on the matter.