For the second time in two months, the Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele to appear before it over an unpaid $53 million garnishee order in favour of Mr. Joe Agi (SAN) and a team of lawyers.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had on November 20, 2019 under Form 15 issued the summons to Emefiele in the case FHC/ABJ/CS/1193/2017 instituted against CBN as Garnishee/Respondent, Linas International Limited and the Minister of Finance as Judgement Debtors Garnishees by Mr. Joe Agi as Creditor/Applicant and on behalf of a team of benefiting lawyers.
This judgement said “the plaintiff/judgement creditor obtained Garnishee Order Absolute against the Central Bank of Nigeria in this matter on the July 5, 2019, for $70 million and the same sum remains partially unsatisfied till date to the tune of $53 million.”
Documents made available to newsmen in Calabar yesterday by sources close to the court stated that when the matter came up for hearing on January 23, Emefiele was not in court and upon hearing from Mr. J. C. Njikonye, counsel to Agi, that Emefiele was “served the judgement summon but is not in court and not represented, Justice Ekwo said ‘an order is hereby made adjourning this case to enable Mr. Godwin Emefiele appear in court as stated on the summons and answer to the issue thereto on the next date of hearing” which is February 26.
The court further agreed that “either party that desires to postpone the hearing must apply to the court as soon as possible for that purpose and if the application is based on any matter of fact, he must be prepared to give proof of those decisions
“The parties are required to bring forward all the evidence by witnesses or by documents which each of them desires to rely on in support of his own case and in contradiction of that of his opponent. The proof will be required at the hearing, and not on a subsequent day. Parties failing to bring their evidence forward at the proper time may find themselves absolutely precluded from abducting it at all, or at best only allowed to do so on payment of substantial costs to the other side, and on such other terms as the court thinks fair to impose.”
Parties desirous to enforce the attendance of witnesses, according to the court, should apply at once to the court to issue one or more summonses for the attendance of the witnesses required.
“It is indispensable that the application should be made, so as to allow time for reasonable notice to the witnesses required. If the witness is required to bring books or papers, they must be particularised in the summons sufficiently to enable him to understand what is meant.
“Any party summoning a witness through the court becomes liable to pay such witness reasonable sum of money to be fixed by the court for his expense and loss of time. The count may refuse to enforce the attendance of a witness unless such sum has been fixed and deposited in the court.
“If either party desires to use in evidence at the hearing any book or document in the possession or power of the other party, he must give the other party reasonable notice in writing to produce it at the hearing, failing which he will not be allowed to give any secondary evidence of its contents,” the judge added.