The Benue State government has approached the Supreme Court asking for a stay of execution of the judgment given by National Industrial Court (NIC).
The court had directed the seizure of the state’s N1.4 billion assets in a garnishee proceedings initiated by 211 aggrieved employees of the state.
Other applicants seeking similar orders from the apex court include the state’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Taraku Mills, and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
The applicants are further seeking an order of stay of action on the garnishee order absolute by the National Industrial Court, pending the determination of the final appeal pending before the court.
In their motion on notice brought pursuant to Order 2, Rule 28 (1) and (4) of the Supreme Court, and Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution, they also prayed the apex court for status quo to be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the substantive appeal before it.
Counsel to the applicant who filed the motion, Mike Assoh, submitted that proceeding with the enforcement of the garnishee order absolute would render the appeal of the appellants nugatory.
They predicated their application on the ground that there is already a substantive appeal pending before the Supreme Court, challenging the judgment of the Makurdi Division of the Court of Appeal which struck out the appeal filed by the state relating to the garnishee proceedings.
Recall that the Makurdi Division of National Industrial Court had on June 3, 2016, made a garnishee order absolute against the state government in favour of the 211 employees of the state led by Aondohemba Agba Injo.
But dissatisfied with the judgment, the applicants appealed the decision before the Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division, where their appeal was struck out.
However, determined in their quest to get justice, they filed an appeal before the Supreme Court, seeking to set aside the judgment of the lower courts.
Notwithstanding the pendency of both the substantive appeal and the motion for stay of execution of the garnishee order absolute before the Supreme Court, the judgment creditors, who are employees of Taraku Mills, went and procure a writ of execution of judgment at the Abuja Division of the National Industrial Court, on November 19 in a suit No. NICN/ABJ/241/M/2020.