Workers of the Benue State government are experiencing a gloomy Christmas celebration, as there has been a delay in the payment of December 2020 salaries due to court orders placed on all government accounts.
Government representatives who spoke to newsmen said the delay is occasioned by ‘garnishee court orders’ on all government accounts.
Briefing journalists on Thursday in Makurdi, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Rt. Hon. Ngunan Addingi, explained that some aggrieved non indigenes working in the state who were redeployed to their states in 2007 under the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB had taken the State Government to court to protest the action.
According to her, in the year 2008, the court in the case between Juliana Igweka and 95 others versus SUBEB and Attorney General of Benue State, declared that the affected persons be reinstated in the civil service, pointing out that counsels to the applicants in turn went back to court asking for monetary compensation which was not part of the original judgment.
Mrs. Addingi noted that after the applicants failed to get the courts to do their wish in the state, they, through Barrister Ucha Ulegede and J.S. Okutepa, SAN, went to different courts in Nasarawa and Federal Capital Territory to secure garnishee orders on all accounts of the state which was served yesterday, thereby crippling all government activities including payment of salaries.
On his part, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Michael Gusa described the judgment as fraudulent, saying the courts lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter, moreso that the initial judgment had no monetary attachment.
Barrister Gusa noted that the State Government had initiated processes to set aside the garnishee orders as soon as possible, stressing that government would also approach the National Judicial Council for necessary action against the judges involved.