National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Makurdi division yesterday, ordered the Benue State government to pay the sum of N989.9 million being salary arrears, fringe benefits and terminal benefits to 210 sacked workers of Taraku Mills Limited.
The court also ordered Fidelity Bank, Plc, Makurdi branch, to pay an unconditional fine of N100, 000 for what it described as a deliberate attempt to pervert justice.
Delivering judgement, Justice R.B Haastrup, held that the bank erred having admitted in the first instance and informed the court that they had enough funds as well as placed a lien on the judgement sum to turn around and file another affidavit contrary to the earlier submission.
Citing the constitution, Sheriff and Civil Process Act, the judge dismissed the judgement debtors’ application for not only been frivolous but vexatious and lacking in merit.
Consequently, she turned the Order Nisi to an obsolete order against Fidelity Bank PLC to pay the judgement creditors the judgment sum.
It could be noted that the government of Benue State had set out a six-man committee headed by the former director of industries, Jeff Yaji, to investigate the salary arrears owed staff of the Company in 2008, following the lease of the said company to a private investor, GLOWRICH Nigeria Limited.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday gathered that on Friday, May 16 2008, the committee visited the factory and established that N1billion was due for payment and the sum equally set aside for the purpose so the then Attorney General, Mr Philip Ierkwagh, decided that since government has accepted liability of the said amount there was no need for going ahead with litigation and called for out of court settlement.
Chief F.S Tsenga, counsel to Claimants, revealed that the agreement entered into between the claimants and the government was adequately filed in court and the court entered consent judgment in favour of the claimants; meanwhile after series of settlements the claimants are reported to have forfeited N549 million naira representing N500 million as special damages and N49 million naira as aggravated damages.
Further findings revealed that instead of complying with the judgment and effecting payment beginning from 31st August 2015 the government instead filed a motion in court on the 28th August 2015 praying it to set aside the consent judgment, claiming that it was fraudulently filed.

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