CASE TITLE: CBN v. ADEJOH & ORS (2023) LPELR-61118(CA)
JUDGMENT DATE: 4TH SEPTEMBER 2023
PRACTICE AREA: CIVIL PROCEDURE
LEAD JUDGMENT: ABDUL-AZEEZ WAZIRI, J.C.A.
SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT:
This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.
This is an appeal against the interlocutory ruling of the trial Court delivered on the 7th day of April, 2017 in Suit No. NICM/ABJ/339m/2016 dismissing the motion filed and praying for the setting aside and/or discharge of the garnishee order Nisi made on the 17th day of November, 2016.
The ruling was filed, consisting of two Grounds of Appeal as follows:
Learned trial Judge breached the Garnishee/Appellant’s right to a fair hearing when his lordship failed to consider the submission of the Garnishee/Appellant on the latest authority on the statute of the Garnishee/Appellant as a public officer within the contemplation of Section 84 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, Cap 56, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2014, and therefore occasioned a miscarriage of justice.
The learned trial Judge showed clear bias against the Garnishee/Appellant contrary to the constitutionally enshrined principle of fair hearing when his lordship considered the judgment creditor’s/Respondent’s further and better affidavit.”
The printed Record of Appeal was compiled and transmitted on April 28, 2017. Appellant’s brief of argument was filed on 6/6/2017. The Respondent’ Brief of argument was filed on 6/7/2017.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the trial Court, the Appellant filed an appeal.
ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION:
The Court determined the appeal based on the following issues:
“1. Whether the failure of the learned trial Judge to consider the submissions of the Garnishee/Appellant on the latest authority on the status of the Garnishee/Appellant as a public officer within the contemplation of Section 74 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Cap. 56 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (2004) did not amount to a breach of the Garnishee/Appellant’s right to a fair hearing and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice to the Appellant.
2. Whether the decision of the learned trial judge to entertain the judgment Creditor/Appellant’s fuller and better Counter-Affidavit filed on December 19, 2016 did not amount to a breach of the Garnishee/Appellant’s right to a fair hearing.”
The appeal was allowed.
- PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – GARNISHEE PROCEEDINGS – Position of the law as regards the prior consent of the Attorney General before issuance of garnishee order to attach funds held in the custody of a public officer
- PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – GARNISHEE PROCEEDINGS – Whether the Central Bank of Nigeria is a public officer within the meaning of Section 84 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act as to require the consent of the Attorney-General of the Federation before garnishee proceedings can be commenced against it
- PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – GARNISHEE PROCEEDINGS – Effect of failure to obtain the consent of the Attorney-General before obtaining Garnishee Order over funds in the custody or under the control of a Public Officer