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Court Fixes Oct.6 To Hear Contempt Proceedings Against CBN

A Federal High Court in Lagos today fixed the 6th of October, to hear a proceeding instituted by some pensioners against the Central Bank of Nigeria, over alleged disobedience of judgment.

The plaintiffs are James Jemilo, Thompson Edun, Jacob Amao and Joachim Ajala.

They had sued for themselves and on behalf of all CBN pensioners on May 6, 1999, praying the court to compel the CBN to comply with the Federal Government’s directive on pension harmonisation.

The plaintiffs had averred that the policy was introduced in the public service with effect from Jan. 1, 1997.

“The policy was designed to eliminate the disparities in the pensions of workers, who retired on the same grade, with those who served the same number of years but retired at different times,” they averred.

According to the plaintiffs, the CBN having failed to comply with the policy, they filed a suit, number FHC/L/CS524/99 before a Federal High Court in Lagos, seeking an order, compelling it to comply with the policy.

Newsmen recall that in its defence, the CBN, had said that it could only pay the harmonised pension, subject to “affordability and sustainability” of pension funds.

Meanwhile, in a judgment delivered on May 22, 2000, the court, presided over by Justice Wilson Egbo-Egbo, now retired, granted the reliefs sought by the pensioners.

Egbo-Egbo had directed the CBN to pay the applicants all accrued pensions with effect from Jan. 1, 1997 on emoluments currently earned by their serving counterparts.

The judge had held that this was as prescribed by the Federal Government’s policy on harmonisation of pensions, adding that such accrued pensions were to be paid subsequently as and when due.

Dissatisfied with the lower court’s judgment, the CBN had appealed the decision before the Court of Appeal and later the Supreme Court.

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