By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The premises of the Calabar Urban Development Agency, CUDA, has been sealed for a month running, following a magistrate court judgment against the state government over non-payment of N12.3 million annual rent covering 2014-2016 to the property owner and octogenarian, Chief Mrs. Ekanem Oku Kurz.
Vanguard reports that the annual rent of N4.5 million for the two-storey building located at 106 IBB Way, Calabar, known as Lirak House, has not been paid since 2014 and it incapacitated the woman, who relied on it for her upkeep.
According to the report, counsel to the octogenarian, Raymond Manga, said: Chief (Mrs.) Ekanem Oku Kurz, the owner of the property known as Lirak house situated at 106 IBB Way, Calabar, which she let out to the government of Cross River State through the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development for occupation and used by the Calabar Urban Development Agency has suffered a lot due to non-payment of rent by her tenant, the Cross River State government whom she let out her property to which is occupied by one of its agency (CUDA).
“After we exhausted every possible avenue to reach out, we headed to the magistrate court where a judgment was given in favor of my client against the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development alongside the government of Cross River State for recovery of her premises and appurtenances.
“The property was let to the Cross River State government at an annual rent of N4.5 million only. The said tenancy was determined by a notice to quit on 21/10/2016 and a notice of owner’s intention to apply to court to recover possession of the premises on 4/11/2016 served on the defendants by her solicitors, the law firm of Raymond Manga & Associates, this was after several demand notices.
“Notwithstanding the said notices, the ministry as well as the state government refused to give up possession or to pay the outstanding rent and still retained same, whereof the claimant sued the defendants and claimed vacant possession of the said premises occupied by CUDA, with arrears of rent of N12, 375,000 for a tenancy period of March 2014 to November 2016.”
He said: “In enforcing the judgment, my client obtained a warrant of possession upon which the premises was sealed on the early hours of 23/12/16 by the bailiffs of court. Workers of CUDA since then have not had access to the premises.”
CrossRiverWatch was not yet able to get a response from the Commissioner for Lands over the development.