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NATURE OF A JUDGEMENT DEBT

Dictum

The Appellant’s claim for interest falls into two parts: pre judgment and post judgment debt. A judgment debt is a debt or damage or other monetary award which has been pronounced upon by a court of competent jurisdiction. It begins when the court has pronounced its judgment in favour of the plaintiff. Therefore such interest are interest after adjudication and starts to run from date of judgment. It cannot be from the date of accrual of action.

– Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009)

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JUDGEMENT DEBTOR MAY BE HEARD IN GARNISHEE PROCEEDINGS

In Gwede v. Delta State House of Assembly & Anor (2019) LPELR 47441 SC, it was held as follows: “Thus, where the judgment sought to be enforced is certain, in terms of the parties, the judgment sum and the party adjudged the debtor, then the judgment debtor has nothing to say in the proceedings. However, where, as in this case, the judgment sum is not certain and the party adjudged as the debtor is confused by the judgment creditor, I think that justice demands that the ”judgment debtor” be heard in such circumstance. In other words, it is not cast on stone that a judgment debtor cannot be heard in garnishee proceedings. It is the Court that will determine whether he should be heard or not. If the application of the judgment debtor before the Court is to reopen issues settled in the judgment, he cannot be heard. But if the application is to draw the attention of the Court to misleading facts put forward by the judgment creditor, there is nothing wrong with him being heard.”

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JUDGEMENT DEBT

In the case of In re Claget: ex parte Lewis (Weekly Notes for May 5, 1888, p.100) the Court of Appeal said as follows: “The effect of section 17 was to impose on a judgment debtor a statutory duty to pay interest on the judgment debt, and the interest became a debt due from him. It could be recovered by execution on the judgment, but it could also be recovered by any other legal process. The interest was a debt necessarily attached to the judgment debt” etc.

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