In the realm of unsettled debts, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, grapples with a deadlock in the out-of-court settlement over a substantial N2.5 billion judgment debt with its 110 disengaged staff.
Despite the university’s push for resolution, the meeting’s inconclusiveness adds a layer of complexity to the impending decision, scheduled for reporting back to the court on Dec. 11.
The meeting, instigated by ABU Zaria, aimed to avert the execution of a N2 billion-plus judgment against the university.
However, the nuances of data discrepancies presented a hurdle, with the pension details sent by PTAD to ABU causing contention among the judgment creditors.
The lack of access to the data by the creditors adds a layer of complexity to the negotiation.
Detailing the intricacies, Mr Isaac Enabhule, Counsel to the Judgment Creditors, highlighted the divergence in data interpretation.
Some clients found themselves under PENCOM, while others fell under PTAD, prompting the need for clarity.
The inconclusive meeting necessitated a further gathering, promising resolution before Dec. 11.
Mr Daniel Bode, former Deputy Bursar of ABU and leader of the judgment creditors, shed light on the prelude to the court judgment.
Despite three different white papers endorsing their reinstatement, the implementation lagged, leading to the 2015 judgment.
Bode voiced concerns about intentional delays in execution, emphasizing the aging status of many creditors.
Malam Sadiq Momoh-Jimoh, leader of the ABU team, expressed ABU’s commitment to an out-of-court settlement.
The delay, he asserted, stemmed from PTAD’s prolonged data acquisition regarding the pension and gratuity concerns of the 110 creditors. Dr Abubakar Is’haq, part of ABU’s legal team, clarified that PTAD’s documents had been dispatched to the judgment creditors’ counsel, Mr Femi Adedeji, on Nov. 4.
The legal saga began in 2012 when the appointments of 110 ABU staff were terminated in 1996. The court’s 2015 ruling mandated reinstatement and payment of entitlements, culminating in a N2.5 billion obligation.
Non-compliance led to a garnishee order in 2017, sparking a series of legal maneuvers by the judgment debtors.
The Court of Appeal’s dismissal on May 24, 2021, solidified the decision, leading to the NICN’s garnishee order in Jan. 27, compelling the CBN to pay the disengaged staff.