A federal high court sitting in Abuja has ordered the thaw of Benue state wage accounts, following a government plea over the inability to pay workers’ wages.
Presiding Judge Inyang Ekwo issued the order on Friday after a request was made by state government attorney Terkura Pepe.
Salary accounts to be released are domiciled at Fidelity Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Access Bank Plc.
The tribunal had, October 27, issued an interim order freezing the bank accounts of the Benue State government for its involvement in obtaining a “333 million naira loan” in 2008.
The order was issued following an ex parte petition brought by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The judge also ordered that the bank accounts of HPPS Multilink Services Ltd, a company, be frozen pending the hearing and the decision on the merits.
While AMCON is the plaintiff, the company and the state government are the first and second defendants, respectively.
The ex parte motion, in suit number: FHC / ABJ / AMC / 74/2021 dated and filed September 30, was brought by Darlington Ozurumba, counsel for AMCON.
In affidavits in support of the lawsuit, AMCON told the court that the first defendant (the company), which has its office in Kaduna State, had collected a loan facility of 333 million Naira from Bank PHB Plc (now Keystone Bank Ltd) on January 31. , 2008 “for the purpose of purchasing 5,000 motorcycles from Defendant 2 and his workers through his State Nigeria Labor Congress, subject to an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO)”.
But at Thursday’s hearing, Terkura Pepe, counsel to the Benue government, requested that the interim order be quashed because she “Incapacity” the state.
According to NAN, when the hearing resumed on Friday, the judge granted the remedies sought by the Benue government and ordered that the order be complied with within 14 days, after which a refreezing order would be issued if the case has not been resolved by the parties involved in the lawsuit.
Ekwo also ordered the plaintiff to engage AMCON in order to resolve the matter.
The case was adjourned until November 22 for mention.