Civil Servants in Benue State will celebrate Christmas without salary.
Explaining the reason for the non-payment of December salary to the civil servants, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mrs Ngunan Adingi, said there are garnishee orders on the state government’s accounts.
Adingi, who briefed journalists on Thursday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, lamented that the orders by the courts had grounded government activities.
She explained that the garnishee order on the state government’s accounts were secured at different courts in Nasarawa and Abuja.
“Some aggrieved non-indigenes working in the state who were redeployed to their states in 2007 under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), took the state government to court to protest the action.
“Consequently in 2008, the court in the case between Juliana Igweka and 95 others vs SUBEB and Attorney General of Benue State, declared that the affected persons be reinstated in the civil service,” Adingi said.
The commissioner added that counsels to the applicants went back to court, asking for monetary compensation, which was not part of the original judgment.
“But when the applicants failed to get the courts to do their wish in the state, they went to different courts in Nasarawa and Federal Capital Territory to secure garnishee orders on all accounts of the state which was served recently, thereby crippling all government activities, including payment of salaries.”
Shedding light on the order, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa, described the judgements as fraudulent, saying the courts lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Gusa noted that the state government had initiated processes to set aside the garnishee orders as soon as possible, stressing that government would also approach the National Judicial Council for necessary action against the judges involved.