Appeal Court Reserves Verdict on N3.4bn Judgment Debt Case Involving Makinde and Others

Court of Appeal reserves judgment in the case involving Oyo State Governor's debt appeal stemming from a Supreme Court decision.

Deferment of Judgment in Oyo State Governor's Debt Appeal

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has deferred its judgment in the appeal filed by Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, and several state officials, contesting an order from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court that mandates them to pay the outstanding debt of N3,374,889,425.60 (N3.4 billion) out of a total debt of N4,874,889,425.60 (N4.9 billion). This financial obligation stems from a May 7, 2021 Supreme Court judgment.

A three-member panel at the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, declared that the judgment was reserved after lawyers representing the involved parties presented their arguments.

During the proceedings, the appellate court raised questions regarding the competence of the appeal (marked CA/ABJ/CV/595/2023), which appeared to challenge the Supreme Court's verdict. The panel inquired if it was appropriate for the Court of Appeal to review a case that had already been decided by the Supreme Court. They also questioned the time frame set by the Supreme Court for Governor Makinde and the other appellants to settle the judgment debt.

Furthermore, the Court of Appeal expressed doubts about the suitability of a motion submitted by the appellants, which requested permission to pay the debt in installments. This request was deemed questionable, as the appeal itself appeared to challenge a similar installment payment plan ordered by the FCT High Court.

In response, counsel to the appellants, Ayodele Akintunde (SAN), clarified that the Supreme Court had indeed ordered the Oyo State Government to pay the debt within three months. He pointed out that the appeal did not directly contest the Supreme Court's judgment, as it had already been registered in the FCT High Court. Akintunde emphasized that the parties involved had reached a compromise by taking certain actions.

The substantial debt of N4,874,889,425.60 emerged from a judgment against Governor Makinde, the state's Attorney General, Accountant General, and four other officials. This judgment was brought by Chairmen and Councillors elected under the All Progressives Congress (APC) but removed from office by Governor Makinde in 2019.

The Supreme Court's ruling required the Oyo State Government to compute and pay the former council chiefs their salaries and allowances within three months. Instead of complying with this judgment, the state government only paid N1.5 billion, which prompted the judgment creditors to initiate a garnishee proceeding before the FCT High Court.


In April, Justice A. O. Ebong of the FCT High Court issued a garnishee order absolute, directing Governor Makinde and the other appellants to pay the remaining balance of the judgment debt in installments, starting with N1,374,889,425.60 to be paid immediately.

The appellants are now challenging this installment payment arrangement at the Court of Appeal. During the hearing, the lawyer representing the ex-council chiefs, Musibau Adetunbi (SAN), lamented the dire circumstances his clients faced, with 26 of them having passed away due to poverty and a lack of funds to address their health concerns, as Governor Makinde had not complied with court orders in their favor.

Adetunbi refuted the appellants' argument that the judgment sum was not reflected in the garnishee proceeding. He referred to a letter from the Attorney General of Oyo State, dated December 13, 2021, indicating the sum of N4,874,889,425.60 as the due salaries and allowances to the ex-council chiefs, with a commitment to settle the amount within six months.

He also drew attention to a letter dated May 8, 2023, from one of Oyo State's banks, First Bank, which revealed that the N1,374,889,425.60 belonging to the state, attached by the garnishee order, would have been paid if not for the pending appeal.

Adetunbi contested the appellants' assertion that it was mandatory for the judgment creditors to obtain the consent of the state's Attorney General regarding funds belonging to the state. He argued that the conduct of the appellants, especially the December 13, 2021 letter, suggested the Attorney General's consent to the debt's settlement.

In light of these arguments, the Court of Appeal is yet to announce its verdict, with the date of judgment to be communicated to the parties involved.

To the main pageNext article


No posts found

Leave a Review