Governor Seyi Makinde’s accounts in 10 banks were frozen due to N3.5 billion debt.
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has issued an order freezing the accounts of the Oyo State Government in 10 commercial banks in the country over an outstanding N3.5 billion judgment debt.
The order was issued by Justice Anitte Ebong in a ruling on a garnishee proceeding initiated by ex-council leaders in Oyo State, who were sacked on May 29, 2019, by Governor Seyi Makinde.
The sacked Local Government Chairmen and Councillors had, in 2021, gotten a N4.9 billion judgment against Governor Makinde as well as other agencies of the state.
According to reports, the other officials and agencies listed with Makinde as judgment debtors, by virtue of the May 7, 2021 judgment of the Supreme Court, are the Attorney-General of the state, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Accountant-General of Oyo State, Speaker of the House of Assembly, the House of Assembly, and the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC).
List of banks involvedThe garnishee proceeding is intended by the ex-council chiefs, led by Bashorun Majeed Ajuwon, to recover the balance of N3.5 billion, which is outstanding from the actual judgment sum, from which Makinde paid only N1.5 billion in 2022.
The banks in which the Oyo State Government’s accounts are blocked are Zenith Bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA), Wema Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Ecobank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, Polaris Bank, Jaiz Bank, and Union Bank.
In a ruling, Justice Ebong ordered the banks to file affidavits and attend the court on the next adjourned date to show cause why the garnishee orders nisi hereby granted should not be made absolute.
The judge awarded N300,000.00 as a cost against the judgment debtors and ordered that a copy of the order be served on Makinde and others and adjourned till January 5 next year for hearing.
Recall that on May 7, 2021, the Supreme Court voided Governor Makinde’s sack of elected local government chairmen and councillors in Oyo State and ordered the state to pay the salaries and allowances of the effected ex-council chiefs.
Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered the lead judgment in the Oyo State case, condemned the decision by Makinde to unlawfully sack the elected council chiefs before the end of their tenure.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal had earlier in December affirmed the April 27 decision of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, ordering the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, to pay the outstanding balance of 3.4 billion naira from the N4.9 billion debt, arising from a May 7, 2021, judgment of the Supreme Court.
In a unanimous judgment, a 3-member panel of the Court, led by Justice Danlami Senchi, deplored Makinde’s conduct, which it described as disrespectful to the nation’s judicial system.