THE ENFORCEMENT OF COURT JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, ABUJA: PROCEDURES AND CHALLENGES
This dissertation titled “The Enforcement of Court Judgments and Orders in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Procedure and Challenges.” The area of interest is the enforcement of judgments and court orders in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. It is an established fact that, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory established an enforcement unit which is now a Department mainly for the enforcement of court judgments and orders. This, give rise to complete and successful enforcement in the Territory. The centralization of the enforcement Department for the enforcement of all judgments and orders of the High Court Federal Capital Territory should be considered in order to obtain an easy and cheap enforcement for the judgment creditors. The problem perceived in this research includes; a) Centralization of the enforcement department at Maitama, which is the main Headquarters of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. b) Unnecessary delay due to complex bureaucratic procedure. c) High cost of enforcement due to lack of adequate facilities like mobility for the enforcement officers, crane, toying van and truck for the conveyance of attached properties to the warehouse. d) Corruption by the enforcement officers and improper advice by lawyers to their clients (judgment debtor). e) High risk of life is involved. f) lesser punishment provided by law for obstructing court judgments and orders (fine of not more than 100 naira). g) Non publication for sale of attached property and sale to the highest bidder. The objective of this work is to examine the challenges associated with enforcement of judgments and court orders in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to point out the reasons behind the non enforceability of some judgments and court orders and the way out, and to analyze the procedures for the enforcement of judgments and orders, in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and challenges. The research methodology adopted in this research is the doctrinal method also known as library oriented research wherein recourse are made to statutes, case law, conventions, textbooks, journals, literature, e.t.c. Teleological research is also adopted due to work experience. Findings, however, revealed that, the major challenges associated with enforcement of judgment and court orders in the High Court of Abuja: a) the centralization of the enforcement Department at the main Headquarter, Maitama, Abuja. b) unnecessary delay that gives room for the judgments debtor to frustrate the enforcement by filing motion for stay of execution, interpleader summons or go on appeal. c) lesser punishment provided by law for obstructing court judgments and orders. d) Inadequate facilities. e) corruption by enforcement officers and lawyers. f) High risk of life. g) Non publication of the sale of attached property and sale to the highest bidder. It is recommended that;
- a) the enforcement Department should be decentralized. b) Judgments and court orders should be speedily enforced without any delay. c) The provision of the Act that provide punishment for obstructing court judgments and order should be amended. d) There should be provision for adequate facilities to carry out the enforcement. e) Provision for training for the enforcement officers by the High Court and lawyers by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). f) Insurance should be provided for the enforcement officers because of the high risks of life involve. g) Sale of attached property should be publicized and to the highest bidder.