N93M DEBT: COURT FREEZES DELTA ACCOUNT

By NBF News
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A Lagos High Court has put seals on the accounts of the Delta State government over indebtedness to an auto firm, Cherry Motors Nigeria Limited.

Ruling on application for garnishee order filed by the auto firm over failure of Delta State and five other defendants to pay a sum of N93.6 million owed the claimant, the court ordered that its account in three commercial banks- Zenith Bank, Oceanic Bank and Access Bank, be frozen.

Others affected by the order of Justice Femi Adebiyi include, the governor of the state, Delta State Integrated Development Agency, Chairman of Delta State Integrated Development Agency, Mr. Godwin (Gary Bire) Akpobire and the accountant general of the state.

The trial judge granted the order after listening to the claimant's counsel, Kayode Layeni who moved the motion ex-parte seeking for garnishee order to attach the funds of the defendants in the banks.'A garnishee order is hereby granted attaching the fund in custody of Zenith Bank Plc., Oceanic Bank Plc. and Access Bank Plc., bankers to the first and third defendants/ judgment debtors to satisfy the judgment of Asaba High Court entered on August 13, 2010 and registered as judgment of this court on June 7, 2010 together with the costs of the garnishee proceedings,' the court ordered.

The order to attach the funds of the defendants was made pursuant to the judgment of Asaba High Court, which was in fact, terms of settlement agreed upon by the parties filed before the court and entered as judgment of the court.

According to the terms of settlement adopted as final judgment, the defendants offered to pay the claimant a total sum of N93,650,000 as full and final satisfaction of the debt claimed by the claimant in the matter. A break down of the full and final sum claimed by the claimant showed that it consists of the principal N90,650,000 and N3,000,000 conceded and offered to be paid by the third, fourth and fifth defendants to mitigate the hardship of the claimant in respect of transaction.

The dispute was a fallout of the contract for the supply of 49 units of BYD automobile, which were delivered to the Delta State Integrated Development Project, a parastatal under the governor's office. The deal, which was consummated in May 2009 was attested to by the letter of confirmation written to the claimant by Delta State Integrated Development Project.

The letter of confirmation dated May 18 and signed by its Chairman, Godwin (Gary Bire) Akpobire read in part: 'I wish to confirm that arrangement has been made for the payment of 49 units BYD automobile delivered to the Delta State Integrated Development Programme, office of the governor, Delta State and will like to inform your honourable establishment that means for payment will be completed by 2nd week of June 2009. Giving that, payment will thus be effected by the end of the month of June 2009.'