Justice Edward Okpe of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama Abuja, has set aside his initial judgment of June 22, 2023, that compelled the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, to pay Mr Christian Igbo, a contractor, the sum of N29 million as the balance of payment for contract allegedly executed for the Corps.
Justice Okpe, a vacation judge, said his decision aligns with the position of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a plethora of judicial authorities.
The initial judgment was delivered on 22nd June.
This was made known in a statement signed on Wednesday by Cor Director, Public Relations, Babawale Afolabi.
Justice Okpe had in June 22 judgment, ordered the NSCDC, its Commandant General Dr. Ahmed Abubarka Audi to pay Igbo over N29 million, being the balance of the contract sum legitimately awarded and executed by him.
Igbo, the managing director of Davenchris Venture Ltd, was said to have earlier approached the High Court of the FCT in Nyanya, Abuja, through his counsel Pascal Obioha in an originating summon marked CV/2115/2023
He accused the NSCDC and others of non-payment of the balance of the contract allegedly executed by him.
Justice Okpe had in June 22 judgment ordered the NSCDC to pay Igbo the sum of N29, 360,699,00 being the balance of the contract executed for the NSCDC.
However, not satisfied with the judgment of the Court, the NSCDC through their counsel, Evelyn O. O. Charles-Iyanya, filed a motion on notice challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter on payment of the contract sum.
Iyanya argued that the right to payment of contract sum is not covered under Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that the judgment of 22nd June 2023, was given without jurisdiction
But in his judgment on Tuesday, Justice Okpe, aligning with the argument of the lawyer, set aside the earlier judgment of 22nd June 2023 as it relates to relief 4, the same being a nullity, having been delivered without jurisdiction.