Customs to challenge N2bn judgment debt 

Hameed Ali
Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali

 

The Supreme Court has granted the Nigeria Customs Service Board’s application to challenge the February 6, 2014 judgment of the Court of Appeal that affirmed a judgment debt of N2,048,737,443.57 in favour of Innoson Nigeria Limited.

A five-man panel of the court, in a unanimous ruling, upheld the prayers of Customs – the applicant – canvassed through its counsel Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), by a motion on notice filed on November 9, 2020.

The panel comprised Justices Olukayode Ariwoola, John Inyang Okoro, Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju, Abdu Aboki and Tijani Abubakar.

Justice Aboki, who read the panel’s decision on January 14, 2022, agreed with the lead ruling of Justice Abubakar, that Customs’ argument was meritorious.

“Having granted the application, therefore, the following orders are hereby made:

“I. Leave is hereby granted to the applicant to appeal as an interested party against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division in appeal number CA/1/258/2011.

“II. Time is extended to the applicant to seek for leave to appeal against the judgment of the court of appeal on grounds of mixed law and facts.

“III. Leave is hereby granted to the applicant to appeal against the judgment of the court of appeal, Ibadan division, on grounds of mixed law and facts.

“IV. Time is extended to the applicant within which to appeal against the judgment of the court of appeal, Ibadan Division in suit No. CA/1/258/2011.

“V. Leave is hereby granted to the applicant to raise new points in this appeal.

“VI. Leave is hereby granted to the applicant to adduce new evidence.

“VII. Applicant shall file its Notice of Appeal within thirty days from today.

“Parties shall bear their respective costs,” the court held. 

The 1st respondent – GTBank – was represented by Chief Aribisala, SAN, while 2nd respondent – Innoson – was represented by Prof J.N.M. Mbadugha.

The appeal, marked SC.816/2020, arose from a May 18, 2010 judgment of the Federal High Court, Ibadan in Suit No: FHC/I/CS/603/2006 instituted by Innoson against the Nigeria Customs Service and the Attorney General of the Federation.



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