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  • Purification Tech. (Nig.) Ltd v. Attorney-General, Lagos State
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  • 2004-06-14
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Purification Tech. (Nig.) Ltd v. Attorney-General, Lagos State

PURIFICATION TECHNIQUES (NIGERIA) LTD.

V

ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF LAGOS STATE

EKO INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC

OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL NIGERIA LIMITED

GULF BANK OF NIGERIA PLC

CHARTERED BANK PLC

GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC

FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC

UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC

AFRIBANK NIGERIA PLC

UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC

SOCIETE GENERALE BANK NIGERIA LIMITED

MAGNUM TRUST BANK PLC

ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC

SOCIETE BANCAIRE NIGERIA LIMITED

TRANS INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC

HALLMARK BANK NIGERIA PLC

FSB INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC

EQUITORIAL TRUST BANK LIMITED

DIAMOND BANK LIMITED

BROAD BANK NIGERIA LIMITED

TRADE BANK NIGERIA PLC

STANDARD TRUST BANK LIMITED

EQUITY BANK OF NIGERIA LIMITED

ACCESS BANK NIGERIA PLC

GAMJI BANK LIMITED

STANDARD CHARTERED BANK NIGERIA LIMITED

WEMA BANK PLC

CITIBANK NIGERIA LIMITED

CITIZENS INTERNATIONAL BANK LIMITED

FIRST ATLANTIC BANK LIMITED

NIGERIA DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION

CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA

COURT OF APPEAL

( LAGOS DIVISION )

SULEIMAN GALADIMA, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

PIUS OLAYIWOLA ADEREMI, JCA

ABUBAKAR ABDULKADIR JEGA, JCA

CA/L/470/2001

TUESDAY, 20TH JANUARY, 2004 

BANKING LAW - Banker - Customer relationship - Nature of

BANKING LAW - Monies with garnishee banker - Whether in ‘control’ or ‘custody’ of judgment debtor customer

COURT - Order of court - Circumstances in which it is regarded as a nullity COURT - Order of court - When may be set aside by self-same court

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Enforcement of judgment of court - Garnishee proceedings - Monies of State Government/judgment debtor with garnishee banker - Whether section 84 Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, Cap. 407, Laws of the Federation, 1990 is applicable to

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Enforcement of judgment of court - Garnishee proceedings - Monies with garnishee banker - Whether in ‘control’ or ‘custody’ of judgment debtor customer

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Enforcement procedures of judgment of court -  ‘Execution’ and ‘garnishee proceedings’ - Distinction between

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Order of court - Circumstances in which it is regarded as a nullity

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Order of court - When a court may set aside its own orders

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Stay of execution - Application for - Whether forecloses enforcement of judgment by other legal methods

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Stay of execution - Order of or application for - Effect on attempts by judgment creditors to execute judgment Circumstance in which will not debar execution of judgment STATUTE - Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, Cap. 407, Laws of the Federation, 1990, section 84(1) - Whether applicable to monies of State Government/ judgment debtor with garnishee banker

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Execution’ of judgment of court and ‘garnishee proceedings’ - Distinction between

Issues:

1.             Whether the learned trial Judge has the power and was right to have set aside the garnishee order nisi made on the 18th of January, 2001.

2.             Whether the monies held by a State Government/judgment debtor in a bank is in custody or under the control of a public officer and therefore subject to the provisions of section 84 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, Cap. 407 Laws of the Federation, 1990.

Facts:

The Lagos State High Court (coram Ade-Alabi, J.) on the 31st of January, 2001, set aside a garnishee order nisi which it made on the 18th of January, 2001, on the application of judgment debtor/respondent. The garnishee nisi order was obtained by the judgment creditor as part of efforts to enforce the judgment it had obtained on the 2nd of June, 1999 in Suit No. LD/835/99 in which the Lagos State government was adjudged liable to pay the sum of US$ 166,353,090.19.

Dissatisfied, the judgment creditor appealed to the Court of Appeal. At the Court of Appeal it was contended by the judgment creditor/appellant that the learned trial Judge had no jurisdiction to set aside the garnishee order nisi, and that section 84(1) of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, Cap. 407 Laws of Federation, 1990 which made it mandatory for the consent of the Attorney-General to be sought and obtained before monies in custody and control of a public officer can be attached in satisfaction of a judgment debt, is not applicable in the present circumstances as monies with a banker are not in control or custody of the customer but the banker. The respondent/ judgment debtor disagreed with this stance and also inter alia contended that the garnishee order was a nullity as procedure for same was taken out during the pendency of an application for stay of execution of the judgment of court.