FCTA Wins $600m Garnishee Order Appeal

By: Wisdom Acka

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has won an appeal case against decision of the FCT High Court, which held the FCTA liable to the payment of over $600M with interest to Kohath Property Development Company Limited for alleged breach of contract.

The Appeal Court has, on Tuesday, delivered judgment in the appeal filed by Joe Gadzama, SAN, on behalf of the Honourable Minister of the FCT and Others.

Abuja Digest learnt that, despite an order of stay of execution pending the determination of the appeal by the FCT High Court (the same Court which had delivered the judgment), and an appeal against the said decision, Kohath had proceeded to commence enforcement of the said judgment.

In a manner that made its action liable to contempt of court, Kohath approached Hon. Justice Aguma of the Rivers State High Court, Bori, in an unprecedented manner, and obtained garnishee absolute orders toward enforcement of the judgment.

Despite its attention being drawn to the fact that there was a pending appeal and an order for stay of execution pending the outcome of the appeal by the same court that delivered the judgment, the Rivers State High Court made its orders.

However, court of Appeal has today Tuesday, 5th September, 2023, settled the issue by setting aside the judgment of the FCT High Court, which had awarded the sum of over $600M against the FCTA and upon which Kohath had commenced enforcement.

Hon. Justice O. E. Williams-Dawodu, Hon. Justice U. A. Ogakwu and Hon. Justice J. Y. Tukur who heard the appeal remitted the matter, in its judgement, to the FCT High Court for expedient hearing.

Experts say that the judgment of the Court of Appeal has “very serious and obvious implications for Kohath who had hurried to pluck the fruits of a judgment despite an order of stay of execution pending appeal.”

Recall the the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike had on Wednesday, last week lamented the garnishee wondering where the FCT Administration would get such funds.

Wike stated this while inaugurating the new executives of FCT Minister’s Press in his Area 11, Garki office, Abuja.

With additional reports from BarristerNG.com as per Bridget Edokwe.