From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) sitting in Kaduna has granted a Garnishee order in favour of 71 retired Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Service (HoS) in Kaduna State over the deduction of the monthly pensions by the Stat government.
The Garnishee order which is given to the Guarantee Trust Bank, Unity Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and the Access Bank Plc is to the sum of N984, 405,659 only as at September, 2022, including cost of N100,000 standing to the credit of the judgement debtors/Respondents and or its organs in all accounts operated within the garnishees.
This followed An exparte application filed on the 11th October, 2022 by the learned Senior counsel for the claimants/applicants Samuel Atung (SAN)
It would be recalled that in May, 2020, the plantiffs through their counsel dragged Kaduna State Governor Malam el-Rufai and Kaduna State Attorney General to the National Industrial Court challenging the deduction of their pension to fight the covid-19 pandemic in the State without their prior notice in a case instituted on the ground of pension right of the plaintiffs as enshrined under section 210 of the 1999 constitution as amended, challenging the decision of the Kaduna State Government on the deduction of monthly pension of the plaintiffs.
In her judgement, the trial judge, Hon. Justice Sinmisola Oluyinka Adeniyi granted all their prayers as sought and declared that Kaduna State Government lacks the powers to deduct their pensions without their consent and ordered the State government to pay them the difference of their pension from March 2020 till date and continue their payments accordingly.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the Head of Chambers of the Gatekeepers Law consult, Mercy Umar Esq said, the state government failed to adhere to the judgement despite efforts made for amicable settlement through correspondence to the government which was not honoured hence the need for the exparte application filed in which all the prayers sought were granted.
In the exparte application, the plaintiff sought “an Order nisi attaching all funds/money standing to the credit of the judgement debtors/respondents and or their organs in the custody of the 1st Garnishee especially in Kaduna Account general operational account domicile with its Murtala Muhammed square branch kaduna in satisfaction of the judgement in the Honourable court delivered on the 7th day of July, 2021.
“The garnishees shall show cause within 14 days of.being served the Order”.
However, the matter is step down till November 3, 2022 for the garnishees to show cause.