By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
The Appeal Court, Lagos, yesterday ordered the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA to pay into the account of the court a sum of N6.8 billion being a judgment debt over alleged unlawful detention of a commercial vessel, belonging to Hensmor Nigeria Limited on March 14, 2006.
In a unanimous ruling by the three presiding justices of the appellate court, it ordered NIMASA to pay the sum into the Registrar of the court on an interest yielding account domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria Plc, within seven days of the ruling.
NIMASA had arrested the vessel belonging to Hensmor Nigeria laden with kerosene for five years, which resulted into litigation and the case was eventually won by the company at the trial court.
In the ruling read by Justice Adamu Jauro and agreed to by the two other justices, the court ordered NIMASA to pay the judgment sum into the bank’s account while adjourning the motion for appeal filed by the agency against the substantive judgment of the trial court till February 11, 2013.
The judge, also awarded monetary compensation for the plaintiff, for what he described as extreme reprehensible conduct and a gross disregard for the rule of law.