The Federal High Court in Lagos has summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, over a judgment debt of N200m against the Nigeria Police Force.

The court, in a February 13, 2020 order by Justice C.J. Aneke, said Emefiele and four others must appear in court on February 20 to explain why they should not be sent to prison for alleged contempt of court.

Those summoned alongside Emefiele were the CBN Director of Legal Services, Mr Akinwunmi Johnson; Mr Olusegun Bolaji and Mr Gbenro Adetona.

The court granted the plaintiff, Mr Ibrahim Kabiru, a leave to commence contempt proceedings against them.

Kabiru, through his lawyer, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, had accused Emefiele and others of frustrating the execution of a N200m judgment he secured against the Nigeria Police Force in November 2016.

Kabiru, on behalf of his family, had filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the police following the “gruesome extrajudicial” killing of his next-of-kin, Waheed Kabiru, by the police in 2015.

The Federal High Court in Lagos, on November 1, 2016, entered judgment in favour of the deceased’s family and ordered the police to pay them N200m as damages for the extrajudicial killing of Waheed.

To get the money, the family initiated a garnishee proceeding at the end of which Justice Aneke, on April 9, 2019, gave them the go-ahead to take the money from the account of the Nigeria Police Force with any bank.

The Central Bank of Nigeria was joined as a garnishee in the proceeding.

Justice Aneke made an order “attaching the sum of N200m, belonging to the Nigeria Police Force, under whose authority and behest the judgment debtor violated the rights of the judgment creditor, giving rise to this action, which sum is in the possession of the garnishees.”

The judge also ordered the CBN and seven commercial banks joined as garnishees to “file statements under oath showing the standing account of the Nigeria Police as at the date of service of the order nisi on the garnishees.”

But the family’s lawyer, Ogungbeje, claimed that the CBN had frustrated all of his clients’ moves to get the judgment credit from the police.

The family, which described Waheed’s killing by the police as painful, while noting that his remains had yet to be buried since 2015, had threatened to “lead a massive protest to the entrance of the headquarters and Lagos branch of the CBN, to shut down its operations, until the order of court absolute granted on the 9th of April, 2019 by the Federal High Court in Lagos is obeyed.”

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