Industrial Court Grants Conditional Stay of Execution, Orders Keystone Bank To Pay Judgment Sum

The Presiding Judge, Calabar Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado has conditionally granted a stay of execution of the judgment delivered in favour of Mr. Anthony Ette pending the hearing and determination of the appeal before the Court of Appeal.

Justice Kado ordered the Keystone Bank to pay the judgment sums as contained in the judgment delivered on 28th July 2022 within 21 days to the Chief Registrar of the Court, to lodge into an interest-yielding account with a reputable Bank.

The Court further stated that the successful party shall claim the money with the accrued interest at the end of the Appeal.

From facts, Keystone Bank Limited had prayed for an order of the Court staying the enforcement of the judgment in favour of Mr. Anthony Ette pending the hearing and determination of the appeal filed by the Judgment debtor at the Court of Appeal.

Learned Counsel to the Bank expressed fear that if the judgment sum is paid and the appeal succeeds there is no means of recovering the payment from Mr. Anthony, and urged the Court to grant the application.

In opposition, the learned counsel to Mr. Anthony, Albert Ben Esq argued that the application for stay of execution filed after the commencement of contempt proceeding against the Bank was incompetent and an abuse of the court process, urged the court to dismiss the application in the interest of justice.

In a well-considered ruling, the presiding Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties held that it is a fundamental principle in the administration of justice that a successful party or litigant must not be deprived or denied the reaping of the fruit of his judgment at the instance of an unsuccessful party.

Justice Kado stated that for a court to order a stay of execution which amounts to denying a successful party, even temporary of the fruits of his judgment, the applicant seeking for the order of stay of execution, must show that there exists exceptional circumstances.

The Court held that the interest of justice and the competing rights of the parties in the matter demands that the application for a stay of execution be granted conditionally.