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Court orders remand of railway MD in Prison over contempt

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Fidet Okhiria

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria to be remanded in prison for three months over contempt of court.

The judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered Okhiria to be remanded following his perpetual refusal to appear in court despite several summons. She further ordered that he should be in custody till September 25, 2018 when the case will continue.

Okhiria had through his lawyer, sometime in March 2018, informed the court that he was out of the country on official assignment and the court ordered him to show evidence of being on official assignment outside the country as he claimed but couldn’t.

It would be recalled that the Judge had on February 15, 2018 threatened to order the arrest of Okhiria for his perpetual refusal to appear before the court in the suit filed against him by a former employee of the NRC, Benedict Iheakam. Iheakim had approached the court through his counsel, Johnson Esezoobo (counsel to judgement creditor) asking the court for an order committing to prison, the MD of the NRC, and the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Canise Oklahoma for refusing to comply with a court order for over 14 years.

Justice Dan Abutu had in a suit marked as FHC/L/CS/926/95 ordered the reinstating of Iheakam to his employment and payment of his entitlements.

However, at the resumed proceedings, counsel to Okhiria, Opeyemi Igbayiloye (counsel to the 2nd respondent judgment debtor) informed the court of his application (Affidavit to Show cause) dated February 21, 2018. Esezoobo (counsel to judgment creditor) told court he needed to file response to the application.

Igbayiloye said his 13 paragraph affidavit to show cause was sworn to by one Obiorah Emedolibe, stated “that initial non compliance immediately was not deliberate nor attributable to the act or inaction of Engineer Okhiria but due to the misplacement of the judgment creditor’s personnel file, the retrenchment, retirement and or death of key staff conversant with the suit and the bureaucracy usually associated with the civil service.


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