Court Freezes Oyo Accounts In 10 Banks Over N3.5bn Debt

In a verdict in a garnishee case, Justice Anitte Ebong delivered the order. The ex-council chiefs of Oyo State had sued Governor Seyi Makinde, who had dismissed them on May 29, 2019, and who had won an N4.9 billion judgement against him and other state officials and agencies in 2021.

The former council chiefs, headed by Bashorun Majeed Ajuwon, have initiated the garnishee process in an effort to recoup the remaining N3.5 billion from the actual judgement amount; in 2022, Makinde paid just N1.5 billion.

Zenith Bank, UBA, Wema Bank, Ecobank, Guaranty Trust, Access, Polaris, Jaiz, and Union are among the financial institutions that have frozen the accounts of the Oyo State Government.

Justice Ebong ruled that the banks must provide affidavits and appear in court on the subsequent postponed date to justify the non-absolute nature of the garnishee orders nisi that have been given.

The judge delayed the hearing until January 5, 2019, and granted the judgement debtors N300,000.00 as cost. He also directed that Makinde and others be served with a copy of the decision.

Following its May 7, 2021, ruling that nullified Makinde’s removal of elected local government chairmen and councillors from Oyo State, the Supreme Court issued a comparable ruling regarding Katsina State, directing the two states to compensate the affected ex-council chiefs for their salaries and allowances.

In the Oyo State case, Justice Ejembi Eko, who was the principal judge, criticised Makinde for illegally dismissing the elected council chiefs before their term was up.

In contrast to Katsina State, where the wrongfully dismissed council chiefs have been compensated, Makinde’s Oyo State government has not paid the ex-council chiefs he dismissed before their term ended, a dismissal that the Supreme Court nullified in its May 7, 2021 ruling.

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