A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Wednesday, vacated an earlier ex-parte order freezing the Paris Club Refund Account of Delta State Government over consultancy row with Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd.
Before unfreezing the account, Justice Yusuf Halilu, the trial Judge, held that the issue of territorial competence of the court which Alex Izinyon (SAN), counsel for the Delta State Government, had raised on the last adjourned date, must be resolved first, considering that it is fundamental to the case.
The Judge resolved the issue in favour of the plaintiff, Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd.
Justice Halilu added, “For intent and purpose, the job was to be carried in Abuja, the court has jurisdiction over the matter”, he ruled.
In vacating the court’s earlier order to froze the account domiciled with the Zenith Bank (3rd respondent), the court accepted the submission of Izinyon that there was ‘concealment of fact’ on the part of the plaintiff.
The Judge said: “I have gone through and read and read again (letter of disengagement of Mauritz Walton). I will not much dwell on that document for now until the main issue comes up.
“The question is would the court have granted the interim order of freezing the account? Ordinarily, it would not have matter whether the letter was presented before the court or not by the plaintiff.
“It is more reasonable and fair to vacate the order in view of the fact Izinyon drew my attention to the document which was concealed from the court by the plaintiff. It is fundamental to the matter. I hereby set aside the entry order”, he held.
Justice Halilu cautioned counsel to always present every fact before the court and leave it to determine the relevance of such documents.
The court thereafter adjourned till August 28 for the hearing of the substantive matter.
It could be recalled that an FCT High Court froze the Delta State account on alleged failure of the state government to pay consultancy fees to Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd.