Contempt: Court Jails NRC MD for 3 Months

Edet Okhiria, the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), is to spend three months in prisonment for treating the court with contempt.
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday handed down the sentence after the court found him guilty of disregarded several court summons.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, in a ruling ordered that the MD serve his sentence till September 25, 2018.
The Judge said she had no other option but to convict Okhiria of contempt and send him to prison, because he failed to give a satisfactory explanation as to why he failed to honour repeated court summons.
According to the Judge, though Okhiria’s lawyer, Opeyemi Igbayiloye, claimed that his client’s failure to honour the court summons in March was because he was out of the country on an official assignment, there was no evidence to back the claim.
Earlier, the defence counsel had, in an affidavit sworn to by one Obiorah Emedolibe, told the court that “Okhiria travelled out of the country to China on official duty since February 7, 2018, as part of the Federal Government team on fund sourcing for the Railway Modernisation Project.”
The Judge had then ordered that Okhiria should exhibit his travelling documents such as his passport, flight ticket and visa.
Justice Olatoregun said Okhiria had not given sufficient reason to disobey the court.
“He treated the court order with levity,” the Judge said, adding that the MD should have been guided by his lawyer.
A former employee of the NRC, Benedict Ikeakam, had sued Okhiria and the Legal Adviser of NRC, Canise Oklahoma, for contempt, accusing them of failing to comply with a 2004 judgment of Justice Dan Abutu, which ordered Ikeakam’s reinstatement and payment of all his entitlements.

Author: News Editor

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