By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja has declined a request by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) for an order freezing accounts of the Edo Government over its alleged refusal to the outstanding salaries and entitlements of court workers in the state.
JUSUN had also prayed the court to order confiscation of what was due to Edo State from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
In a ruling on Thursday, Justice Okon Abang held the request made ex-parte by the national headquarters of JUSUN was capable of crippling the activities of the state before the forthcoming governorship election.
Justice Abang noted that the motion ” coming less than a month before the governorship election scheduled for September 19, 2020 is designed to cripple governance in the state.”
The judge was of the view that the motion was filed in bad faith and that he reasonably believe that those behind it have ulterior motive.
He said: “It is ill-motivated because the judgment of this court can still be enforced even after the election in Edo State.
“The reason offered by JUSUN for bringing this application during 2020 annual vacation of the court in the course of the forthcoming election in Edo State, and the purported claim of controversy being generated by two leading political parties in Edo State and also the threat to order closure of all bank accounts of Edo State by faction of the Edo State House of Assembly, my lords, these are not good and substantial reasons.”
The judge said the outcome of the Edo poll would not affect the subsisting judgment of the court given on January 13, 2014, which was not appealed.
Justice Abang added any of the parties that win election would have no choice than to comply with the subsisting judgment provided the lawyer to the judgment creditor or the judgment creditor itself will do the proper thing by ascertaining the actual amount they are entitled to.
While holding the application was lacking in merit, the judge described it as “vague” for failing to disclose the amount the union members were being owed by the state government.
The judge said the action was an abuse of court process.
He proceeded to dismiss the application and adjourned further proceedings in the case against the other states to September 30.