Contempt: Court issues bench warrant against NFVCB’s director, Abua

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The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) sitting Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory has issued a Bench Warrant against the Director of Operations, National Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Ferdinand Ogbaji  Abua, for his failure to appear before the court, despite being summoned by the court.

Apart from the bench warrant issued against Ogbaji, the court also awarded the cost of N300, 000, 00 against the Board, for disregarding the court summons.

The court presided over by Justice Osatohanmwen Ayodele Obaseki-Osaghae, issued the arrest warrant against Abua for willfully stalling the trial slated for July 15, in a suit filed against the Board and it’s Executive Secretary, Alhaji Adebayo Thomas, by a former employee of the Board, Olushola Peace Anjorin.

Justice Obaseki-Osaghae issued the bench warrant against Abua and awarded the cost on the Board, while granting an application made by Prof. Joash Ojo Amupitan (SAN), counsel to the applicant, in the suit.

Olushola, an employee of NFVCB had dragged the Board and Thomas before the court for allegedly terminating his appointment in 2018, for allegedly being a ‘whistleblower’.

Anjorin in the suit marked   NICN/ABJ/269/2019, asked the court to make an order for reinstatement with full salary and other entitlements paid.

The applicant had told the court that before his appointment was unlawfully terminated, the Board had stopped his salary and other entitlements for over one year.

The court enrolled order reads: “Upon this suit coming up before this Honourable Court on July 15, 2021 for Trial, The applicant Present, respondent Absent.

“Prof. J. O Amupitan SAN for the Applicant, with Francis Nwarah, Esq: M O Onyilokwu for the respondents.

“And the court after hearing Prof J. O. Amupitan (SAN), counsel for the Applicant applying for a bench warrant.

“It is hereby ordered that a bench warrant is issued against F. O Abua who must produce all the documents listed at the next adjourned date having frustrated today’s trial, the adjournment must be on terms.

 “The learned SAN came from Jos, the Claimant came from Lagos, Cost of N300, 000 (Three hundred thousand Naira) is to be paid by the 1st defendant before the next adjourned date. The case is adjourned to November 4, 2021 for trial”.