IN THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA
IN THE ABUJA JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT ABUJA.
BEFORE HIS LORDSHIP THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE E. AGBAKOBA
DATED 30TH MAY, 2018 SUIT NO: NICN/ABJ/181M/2017
MR. ABEL ENOKELA JUDGMENT CREDITOR/APPLICANT
(1) MRS. ABOLAJI OSIME
(2) MRS. ABIBO OYIN JUDGMENT DEBTORS/RESOPONDENTS
(3) THEODOROUS THEODORON
(Operating and trading under the name and style of
Global international College, Abuja)
(1) ZENITH BANK PLC
(2) STANBIC IBTC BANK GARNISHEES/RESPONDENTS
R. O. I OLOYEDE Esq, for the Judgment Creditor
DANJUMA TORO Esq. for the Defendants.
1. Judgment Creditor/Applicant had filed a MOTION EX-PARTE on 15th June, 2017 supported by a 10 paragraph affidavit deposed to by Olaniyi Sheriff, seeking the following reliefs:
1) AN ORDER NISI of Garnishee attaching debts or monies with the 1st Garnishee in account number 1011372887 and the 2nd Garnishee with account number 9200368883 belonging to GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE respectively to satisfy the judgment sum of (
N1,907,500.00) One Million Nine Hundred and Seven Thousand Five Hundred Naira in favour of the Judgment Creditor/Applicant.
2) AN ORDER directing the 1st and 2nd Garnishees to appear before this Honourable Court upon service of ORDER NISI to SHOW CAUSE why they would not effect the payment of the Judgment sum to the Judgment Creditor/Applicant from the bank accounts being maintained by the Judgment Debtors in their business name GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE with the 1st and 2nd Garnishees to satisfy the judgment sums.
2. WRITTEN ADDRESS IN SUPPORT OF THE APPLICATION
Whether not in the interest of justice to grant the instant application
4. Learned Counsel submitted that the grant of this application is reinforced by statutory and judicial authorities to the effect that when a judgment is given by a Court, that same Court or any other Court must give effect to enforcement of the judgment, enabling the judgment creditor to reap the fruit of his judgment without any form of inhibition. Order 83(1) Sheriff and Civil Process Act, Cap 407, LEN, 1990.
5. It is Counsel’s submission that garnishee proceedings is a procedure whereby the Judgment creditor after the delivery of the judgment applies to the Court that gave the judgment or any order Court vide an ex-parte application under the provision of Section 83, Sheriff and Civil Process Act asking the Court to make an order NISI directing the Garnishee i.e. the person in whose custody the Judgment Debtor’s money is or indebted to the Judgment Debtor to show cause within (14) fourteen days, upon service of order NISI, as made by the Court, why he the Garnishee will not comply with the payment of the Judgment sum to the Judgment Creditor. FIDELITY BANK PLC V OKWUOWULU (2013) ALL FWLR (PT 644) PP 161 — 163 paras A-B D-F, per OGUNWUMIJU, JCA.
6. He submitted that the law is settled that any appeal dismissed for want of diligent prosecution is final. ASALU V DAKAN (2006) ALL FWLR (PT 325) SC 90 P 101 paras C-E Ratio 4, per MOHAMMED, JSC.
7. Counsel argued that there is no issue of fair hearing arising in this appeal and that the motion filed for restoration of appeal with the brief filed thereafter are of no moment. GOVT. ZAMFARA STATE V GYNALANGE (2013) ALL FWLR (PT 658) P. 848 paras G-F, per MUKHTAR, JSC (RTD).
8. The court had on the 30th October 2017 heard and considered the JCA and granted this Applicant making an Order Nisi against two within named Garnishees and on the said date the 1st Garnishee was discharged and the 1st Garnishee asked to show cause why the said Order Nisi should not be made absolute.
9. The Parties seeking to be joined filed a MOTION ON NOTICE on 6th December, 2017 supported by an 11 paragraph affidavit deposed to by Mr. Julius Dairo, praying this Honourable Court for:
1. AN ORDER of this Honourable Court granting leave to the Applicant to be heard as an interested party in the Garnishee Proceedings or be joined by this Honourable Court as a party in this proceedings.
2. AN ORDER of this Honourable Court staying further proceedings and further execution and enforcement of the Garnishee Order Nisi granted by this Honourable Court on the 17th day of November 201 7.
3. AN ORDER of this Honourable Court setting aside and/or discharging in its entirety ex debito justitiae Garnishee Order Nisi made by this Honourable Court on the 17th day of November 2017 pursuant to the Judgement Creditor/Respondent (Judgment Creditor”)‘s Exparte Motion filed thereon and dismissing in its entirety, the Garnishee Proceedings for want of jurisdiction.
4. AN ORDER of this Honourable Court staying further proceedings execution and enforcement of the Judgment of this Honourable Court delivered on or about the 18th day of February, 2015.
10. GROUNDS FOR THE APPLICATION
i. The Judgment Creditor herein obtained a Judgment delivered on or about the 18th day of February 2015 (coram: Hon. Justice O. A. Shogbola Rtd.) in Suit No. NICN/ABJ/287/2012: Mr. Abel Enokela v. Mrs. Abolaji Qsime & 2 Ors against the judgment Debtors (“the Judgment”).
ii. Pursuant to the Judgment, the Judgment Creditor/Respondent (“Respondent”) initiated a Garnishee Proceedings against the Judgment Debtors and by an exparte motion dated the 15th day of June 2017 obtained Garnishee Order Nisi on the 17th day of November 201 7 against the said Judgment.
iii. By the Garnishee Order Nisi, this Honourable Court attached the debts or monies with the 1st Garnishee in account number 1011372887 and 2nd Garnishee with account number 9200368883 belonging to GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE LIMITED respectively to satisfy the Judgment sum of (N1,907,500.00) One Million Nine Hundred and Seven Thousand Naira in favour of the Judgment Creditor/Applicant.
iv. The Garnishee Order Nisi was served on the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined on the 29th day of November 2017 or thereabout by the officials of this Honourable Court.
v. That the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined was not a party to the main suit birthing this Garnishee Proceedings nor was there any order made directly or indirectly against the Applicant/Party Seeking to be joined in Suit No. NICN/ABJ/287/2012: Mr. Abel Enokela v. Mrs. Abolaji Osimé & Co.
vi. The Garnishee Order Nisi was not served on the Judgment Debtors/Respondents as required by Section 83 (2) of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria Cap. S6 2004.
vii. The Applicant/Party seeking to be joined is a juristic person which can sue and be sued in its own name pursuant to the registration of the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined under the Company and Allied Matters Act with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
viii. The Applicant/Party seeking to be joined is desirous of challenging the Judgment as it relates to or affects it, in the very immediate.
ix. This Honourable Court cannot judiciously determine this proceedings to the conclusion if the Applicant/ Party seeking to be joined is not joined as a party in this proceeding.
x. The presence of the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined will be necessary in order for the Court to effectually and completely adjudicate upon all the issues involved in this proceeding.
11. WRITTEN ADDRESS IN SUPPORT OF THE MOTION ON NOTICE DATED THE 6TH DAY OF DECEMBER 2017
Whether the Applicant seeking to be joined in this proceeding is entitle to the reliefs she seeks.
13. Posing the question: ‘who is a necessary party?’ Counsel submitted that Ariwoola, JSC in Olawoye v. Jimoh (2013) 13 NWL.R Pt (1371) at 383 paras. F-G stated:
“A necessary party has been held to be a party whose presence in an action is essential for the effectual and complete determination of the claim before the court. It is party in the absence of whom the claim cannot be effectually and completely determined” Underling ours’
14. Counsel submitted that the Supreme Court has in a number of decided cases laid down the test as to whether a person is a necessary party to be joined in a suit. Peenok Investments Limited v. Hotel Presidential Limited (1982) NSCC 477, (1983) 4 NCLR 122.
15. He submitted that the main reason therefore for the joinder of a person in a suit or proceeding is to make that person bound by the result of the suit and the questions to be settled therefore must be questions in the action which cannot be effectually and completely settled unless the person is made a party. See Amon v. Raphael Truck & Sons Ltd (1956) 1 GB 357 at page 390; In Re: Mogaji (1986) 1 NWLR (19) 759.
16. On Whether the party seeking to be joined is a necessary party to this proceeding, Counsel submitted that the blue litmus test for the determination of who may be a necessary party to a proceeding is predicated on whether the judgment will affect the party; and one of the reasons which makes it necessary to make a particular person a party to an action, is that he will be bound by the result of the action. Gassol V. Tutare (2013) 14 NWLR Pt (1374) 249 at paras. C-D, per Galadima, JSC.
17. Furthermore, that all an Applicant/Party seeking to be joined in a proceeding is required to do, is to show that he has a legal interest which will be affected by the outcome of the proceeding and which he should be allowed to defend and to ensure a complete and effectual determination of the matter. AKPAMGBO-OKADIGBO V CHIDI (2015) NWLR (Pt. 1466) 124 SC at 184 ratio 8.
18. Counsel submitted that the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined has through the Affidavit in support of the Motion on Notice established that she has an interest over the accounts that were Garnished, which will be affected by the outcome of this proceeding and which makes it imperative to join her as a party. SPDCN LTD V AJUWA (2015) NWLR (Pt. 1480) 403 at 443, ration 48, OKOROCHA V PDP (2014) NWLR (Pt. 1406) 213 at 232 ration 23; ENTERPRISE BANK V AROSO (2014) NWLR (Pt. 1394) 256 at 266 ratio 5.
19. He contended that the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined, having showed that she is a necessary party, should be joined in order that she be bound by the decision of this Honourable Court emanating from this proceeding. OKWU V UMEH (2016) NWLR (Pt. 1501) 120 at 125 ratio 4.
20. The Judgment Creditor Applicant Respondent filed a 31 paragraph COUNTER AFFIDAVIT AGAINST INTERESTED PARTY’S MOTION FOR JOINDER on 29th January, 2018 and deposed to by Olaniyi Sheerif.
21. WRITTEN ADDRESS IN SUPPORT OF COUNTER-AFFIDAVIT AGAINST MOTION FOR JOINDER
(a) Whether Interested Party/Applicant’s Motion for Joinder is competent; whether there was a privity of contract between the Judgment Creditor and Interested Party/Applicant seeking to be joined herein; and whether the bank accounts garnisheed by Order Nisi of this Court belong to GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE or GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE LTD
(b) Whether garnishee proceedings not proceedings between Judgment Creditor and Garnishees only with no other party being joined.
(c) Whether by the Rule of the National industrial Court 2017, the Judgment Debtors not validly served the Garnishee Order Nisi
23. ON ISSUE 1
Whether Interested Party/Applicant’s motion for joinder is competent; whether there was a privity of contract between the Judgment Creditor and Interested Party/Applicant seeking to be joined herein; and whether the bank accounts garnisheed by Order Nisi of this Court belong to GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE or GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE LTD.
24. Learned Counsel submitted that it is a provision of Order 17(1)(3)(a) of the National Industrial Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017 that a motion must comply substantially with the format prescribed and contains the full title of the matter.
25. He submitted that the law is settled that only parties to a contract with privity of contract thereto can participate in judicial proceedings. BEHOLD INDUSTRY LTD V MAGREOLA (2015) ALL FWLR (PT 794) 94 P 106 paras B-E, per OKORO, JSC.
26. Furthermore, that before any person can be joined in an existing action, he must show his direct interest. BALA V DIKKO (2013) ALL FWLR (PT 667) 647 P 655 paras E-F, per Mohammed, JSC.
27. Counsel maintained that clearly from Exhibits A-H forming relationship between the Judgment Creditor and the Judgment Debtors, there is no nexus connecting the Interested Party/Applicant seeking to be joined thereto. And that a party seeking joinder must show legally approved link. AKINDELE V ABIODUN (2010) ALL FWLR (PT 518) 841 PP 913-914 paras H-C.
28. Counsel pointed out that the third limb of issue one is whether the account garnished belongs to GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE or GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE LTD?
29. Counsel submitted that even if GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE is a registered company, the legal effect of her subscribers to have hidden her identity without putting the word Ltd on Exhibits A-H forming relationship with the Judgment Creditor has rendered the Judgment Debtors liable to move against their money put in GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE without Ltd to defraud. Section 548 Companies & Allied Matters Act
30. ON ISSUE 2
Whether Garnishee proceedings not proceedings between Judgment Creditor and Garnishees only with no other party being joined.
31. Learned Counsel submitted that Garnishee proceedings is a proceeding between the Judgment Creditor and the Garnishees only to the exclusion of the Judgment Debtors whose name can only be endorsed on the process just to be seen but not to act not to talk of a stranger seeking to be joined. NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC V DUMUJIE (2015) ALL FWLR (PT 807) 513 PP 584- 585; ORS FORESTRY COMM. V ANWAN (2014) ALL FWLR (PT 712) 1823 PP 1829-1830; RE-DIAMOND BANK LTD (2002) 17 NWLR (PT 795) at 120
32. ON ISSUE 3
Whether by the Rule of the National industrial Court 2017, the Judgment Debtors not validly served the Garnishee Order Nisi
33. Citing Order 7 Rules (1)(b)(c)(g)(h)(i)(iii) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria 2017, Counsel submitted that a close perusal of endorsed copy of service of Order Nisi of this Court on the records of this Court will show that the said Order was received by one Ms Belema Asibo Admin/Operations/Secretary of GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE who endorsed same. The said service was effected on the person in charge of operations and premises of the college or was left with the principal staff of the college who received and endorsed same; and that the said service is valid going by the rules of this Court.
34. He further maintained that the position of law now is where there is a firm of partnership or any corporate entity, any service on the secretary or a principal official of such at any branch is a valid service. NBC V UBANI (2014) ALL FWLR (PT 718) 803 PP 82 1-823 paras D-E ratio 3, per CHUKWUMA ENEH.
35. APPLICANT/PARTY SEEKING TO BE JOINED’S REPLY ON POINT OF LAW filed on 26th February, 2018.
36. Learned Counsel submitted that non-characterization of an entity with the word “Limited” or “PLC” is not a proof that the entity is a mere a business name and also that the characterization of an entity with the words “LIMITED” or “PLC” is not a proof that the entity is a limited liability company or public liability company. REPTICO S.A GENEVA V. AFRI BANK NIGERIA PLC (2013) 14 NWLR (PT.1373) P. 211, paras. E-F., per ARIWOOLA, J.S.C.
37. Furthermore, that to prove the juristic status of an artificial entity, what is required is the production of certificate of incorporation and nothing more. NDUKA V. EZENWAKU (2001) 6 NWLR (PT,709) P. 517, paras. D-F; MUSACONI LTD V. MR. H. ASPINALL (2013) 14 NWLR (PT.1375) P. 435; REPTICO S. A. GENEVA V. AFRIBANK NIGERIA PLC (Supra), per ARIWOOLA J.S.C., at page 211, paras. B-D.
38. Counsel argued that in paragraphs 313, 22 and 26 of the Judgment Creditor’s Counter-Affidavit and Written Address, Counsel to the Judgment Creditor canvassed that the Judgment Creditor dealt with Global International College without the suffix ‘LTD’ and that it is registered as a business Name and not “Global International College Limited” but failed to exhibit and/or produce the certificate of Business Name registration of Global International College, issued by the entity created for the incorporation and registration of companies, associations, trustees, partnerships and Business name in Nigeria pursuant to Section 7(1) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap. C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION V. GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE INDUSTRIAL TRAINING FUND & ANOR (2015) 1 NWLR (PT.1439) PP. 139-140, paras. H-B; 140-141, paras, H-A.
39. He submitted that a Business Name registration can only be done with the Corporate Affairs Commission pursuant to Section 573(1)(b) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act and not as stated in paragraphs 11, 22 and 26 of the Counter-Affidavit and Written Address. FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC & ANOR V. ALHAJI SALMANU MAIWADA (2013) 5 NWLR (PT.1348) P.507, paras. C-G.
40. Furthermore, that since the status of an artificial entity must be proved and not presumed, and therefore the categorization of Global International College as a business name and the Judgment Debtors as the proprietors/proprietresses behind Global International College, what is required is the production of the certificate of business name registration and also the Application Form for business name registration in order to ascertain the persons who are signatory in the Application Form as proprietors of the Business name enterprise. IYKE MEDICAL MERCHADISE V. PFIZER INC & ANOR (2001) 10 NWLR (PT.722) P.556, paras. A-B- per UWAIFO J.S.C.
41. Counsel submitted that the Judgment Creditors Consul never exhibited any certificate of Business name registration nor did the Judgment Creditor Counsel exhibit any document that shows the Judgment Debtors as proprietors that actually signed an Application Form for the registration of Global International College as a business name. MISS ADEPEJU ADEFARASIN V DR. YASSER DAYEKH & ANOR (2007) 11 NWLR (PT.1044) P. 114, paras. D-E, the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division, per KEKERE-EKUN J.C.A., (As he then was).
42. It is counsel’s submission that he who assert must prove and that the judgment creditor ought to prove the legal status of Global International College which it stated is a business name by the production of the certificate of registration, because it is a legal issue that must be resolved one way or the other. NDUKA V. EZENWAKU (2001)6 NWLR (PT.709) P.511, paras. D-E; per FABIYI, J.C.A., at page 511, paras. E-G; Section 131(1) of the Evidence Act, 2011.
43. Counsel submitted that the failure of the Judgment Creditor’s counsel to exhibit certificate of business name registration, portends that the production of certificate of incorporation of Global International College Limited as a limited liability company extinguishes every ounce of submission and weight to be attached to exhibits El and E2 which are mere correspondence letter of accreditation that Global International College without the suffix ‘LIMITED” is registered as a business, and further purvey a distinction between the proprietors of Global International College with or without the addition of ‘LIMITED”. ALHAJI DAHIRU IDI & ANOR V. MALLAM ADAMU YAU (2001) 10 NWLR (PT.722) P. 650, paras. E-F; Per OMAGE, J.C.A.; KIM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES & ANOR V. MUSTAPHA JAWAD TAHER (2014) 2 NWLR (PT.1393) P.206, para. A.
44. He submitted that the failure of the Judgment Creditor’s Counsel to sue a juristic person abinitio does not give him powers to enforce automatically, the Judgment of the Court against the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined. And that it is the duty of the Plaintiff or Claimant to sue a Defendant in her accurate name. Furthermore, that by virtue of Sections 18(2), 65(1) and 231(5) of Companies and Allied Matters Act, a company is registered under the Act and has a registered name. J & J. TECHNO NIGERIA LTD & ANOR V. YUBAH H. QUALITY SERVICES LTD & ORS (2015) 8 NWLR (PT.1460) P. 26, Para. D; pages 25-26, paras. H-B.
45. Counsel further argued that a business name lacks the requisite capacity to own an account in its own name. Section 5 (3) of the Money Laundering Act, 2003, No.7.
46. Counsel assuming but without conceding that Global International College is a business name, submitted that she lacks the capacity to enter into a contract. Thus, that a Business name and unincorporated body is not a juristic person and cannot enter into any contract or transaction and/or own a property in its unincorporated name. FEDERAL CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY & ORS V. UNIQUE FUTURE LEADERS INTERNATIONAL LIMITED (2014) 17 NWLR (PT.1436) P. 244, Paras. E-F.
47. He submitted that even if the alleged named proprietors are signatory to the attached or Garnished accounts numbers, which is not conceded herein, suffice to say that it does not eviscerate the distinct legal personality of Global International College Limited, which the accounts numbers belong to. J & J. TECHNO NIGERIA LTD & ANOR V. YUBAH H. QUALITY SERVICES LTD & CR5 (2015)8 NWLR (PT.1460) P. 21, paras. C-D.
48. It is Counsel’s submission that a combine reading Sections 19, 83(1), 87, 88 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, and Order VIII Rules 8(1) and (2) of the Judgment (Enforcement) Rules, convey irresistibly that a Garnishee proceeding is not only between the Judgment Creditor and the garnishee.
49. He submitted that Garnishee proceedings by the tenor and purview and the phrases “such of them as appear’ in Order VIII rules 8(1) and “any third person” in section 88 of the Act, portend that interests and rights of participation in garnishee proceeding are expansive and thus, not circumscribed to Judgment Creditor and the Garnishee. NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC V. CHIEF WHORHI DUMUJE & ANOR (2016) 8 NWLR (PT. 1515) PP. 600, paras. A-B; 627-628, Paras. G-A.
50. It is Counsel’s submission that in Garnishee proceeding in which a Garnishee Order absolute is to be issued, the Judgment Debtor and any third party are necessary parties. UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS V. OLUWASANMI & ORS (2017) LPELR-42305 (CA), NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC V. CHIEF WHORHI DUMUJE & ANOR (2016) 8 NWLR (PT. 1515) PP. 600, paras. A3; 627-628, Paras. G-A.; ADEPEJU ADEFARASIN V. DR. YASSEER DAYEKH & ANOR (2007) 11 NWLR (PT.1044) PP.117, Paras. A-E; 120, paras. A-C.
51. Counsel submitted that in the instant case, the proper parties were not before the Court because, the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined was not a party in the substantive suit. However, that the account garnished to satisfy the Judgment Debt belongs to the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined and these conditions qualify as a special choices that enure to a third party. Consequently, that what is expected of the Applicant/Party seeking to be Joined is to bring an application before the court in a Garnishee proceeding for lack of jurisdiction and/or that the account numbers belong to her to enable the court determine the justiceability or otherwise of the application. UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS V. OLUWASANMI & ORS (2017) LPELR - 42305 (CA), NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC V. CHIEF WHORHI DUMUJE & ANOR (2016) 8 NWLR (PT. 1515) PP. 600, paras. A-B; 627-628, paras. G-A.
52. He noted that the Judgment Creditor’s Counsel made a lumpish submission with the conscious vaulting machination to mislead this Honourable Court, in the Written Address in support of the Counter-Affidavit, when he relied in the reported case of NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC V. CHIEF WHORHI DUMUJE & ANOR (2016) 8 NWLR (PT. 1515) P. 536. Supra.
53. The JUDGEMENT CREDITOR’S REPLY ON POINTS OF LAW TO INTERESTED PARTY’S FURTHER AND BETTER AFFIDAVIT was filed on 16th April, 2018.
54. On whether registration of GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL LTD as a limited liability company is an issue.
55. Learned Counsel submitted that it is a law in labour matter that the Court is limited to only service agreements being documented between the parties. INTERNATIONAL DRILLING NIG LTD V AJIJALA (1976) I ALL NLR II2AT 130.
56. He submitted that the Interested Party seeking to be joined goes outside the issue by digging out copious judicial authorities relating to proof of registration of companies and that the Law is settled that a case is only an authority for what it decided. EMEKA V OKADIGBO (2012) ALL FWLR (PT 65 I) SC 1426 P 1455; SKY BANK V AKINPELU (2010) ALL FWLR (PT526) 456 ratio 17; OKAFOR V NAIFE (1987) 2 NSCC 1194 at 1198 per Oputa JSC (of blessed memory).
57. Counsel maintained that the Garnishee admits the account garnished is that of GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE and not GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE LTD. That the Law is settled and so elementary admission requires no further proof. OGUANUHU V CHIEGBOKA (2013) ALL FWLR (PT703) SC 1925 PP1938-l939 paras. G-A; NBC V UBANI (2014) ALL FWLR (PT 718).
58. He argued that the Interested Party in her Supporting Affidavit to the Motion stated the account and money therein belongs to Parent Association of the college while contradicting self in another breadth in her Further and Better Affidavit that the account and money garnisheed belongs to the Interested Party. And that the law is settled, contradictions to be resolved against the party who engages in same. AKPUPUGHUNUM V AKPUGHUNUM (2007) ALL FWLR (PT376) 746 P.757.
59. Counsel urged the Court to take judicial look at (2015) ALL FWLR (PT 807) 513 at PP 584-585 to see whether the counsel for Judgment Creditor misled the Court.
60. Counsel urged the learned Senior Counsel to withdraw his wrong accusation and serious indictment, reminding the learned Senior Counsel that a party’s Written Address or Brief not a channel for expressing abuses and uncharitable words in law. CHUKWU V INEC & 3ORS (2014) 1- 2 SC (PT 111) 1 P58 para. 10.
61. On the 17th April, 2018, parties adopted their respective written addresses and adumbrated their positions accordingly and this matter was adjourned for Ruling.
62. Having carefully summarized the position of both sides, the arguments of opposing Counsel and having carefully reviewed all the authorities cited, read through all the relevant processes and digested the contention of the parties and their written submission are herewith incorporated in this ruling and specific mention would be made to them where the need arises. The issue for determination in this suit to my mind is whether there is any merit to any of the applications before the court at this time.
63. Looking carefully at the party seeking to be joined’s Application and considered the issues they raise primarily is that they are GCI LTD and the monies attached belong to them and they wish to be joined to the present Garnishee proceedings. It is pertinent to point out that presently the Garnish proceedings before the court are at the stage of considering the Garnishees Affidavit with a view to making the Order Garnishee Absolute.
64. The Garnishee had presented the court with an affidavit showing cause, it is this document the court is required to look at, and nothing else. As it has been well established that the Garnishee proceedings is a matter between the Judgment Creditor and the Garnishee anyone else is a strange interloper who ought not to be heard, See. UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC v. IBORO EKANEM (2010) 6 NWLR (PT. 1190) 207 Where it was held that ‘Garnishee proceedings are basically between the Judgment Creditor and the Garnishee. That even the Judgment Debtor is not a party to it notwithstanding that he was a party in the suit from which the Judgment that pronounced the debt owing was delivered. Therefore, he lacks the capacity in law to stay execution of a Garnishee Order’ afortori a non party.
65. I have, in line with Order 51 Rule 6(1) NICNCPR 2017 specially considered the submissions of the party seeking to be joined. The parties seeking to be joined had stated categorically that they were not the Judgement debtors, they had no privity of contract with the Judgment Creditor their claim to being the owners of the sums attached is not born out in the Garnishees own Affidavit.
66. I find that the party to be joined has not shown the court neither the principle of court which is a third party or a person who is not part of a dispute to be to be heard in the dispute See NIGERIA AGIP OIL CO. LTD v. OGINI & ORS (2017) LPELR-42859(CA).
67. As for the copious arguments of the PSTBJ and their effort to convince the court of their being necessary in the determination of these proceedings I find the words of the SC in ZENITH BANK PLC v. CHIEF ARTHUR JOHN & ORS most apropos “ From all that is going on, it cannot be resisted to say that the applicant is grafting within this application just as in horticulture or agriculture one species of a crop with another to produce something else different a position not envisaged by our law in order to give effect to the application. I have to state at least to decry the practice that has unfolded before this court in this application, documents and arguments seeking to persuade the Court to go along is that of a deployment of tricks of a trade to frustrate or stultify through seductive arguments the right properly inuring to a party. This practice has to stop and a party has to know where to pull the brakes and fulfil obligations it has a duty to do and to comply with Court orders such as the Garnishee Order Absolute. The administration of justice has no room for the dribbling as usually seen in football fields of play while a successful party is made to suffer when justice is on its side” per HON. JUSTICE MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI, JSC.
68. I find that there is no merit in the application of the party seeking to be joined and their said application is hereby dismissed with a cost of N50, 000.00.
69. This is the Court’s Ruling and it is hereby entered accordingly.
Hon. Justice E. N. Agbakoba
Presiding Judge, Abuja Division