By Bassey Inyang
Four diesel fired electricity generating sets belonging to Mirage Hotels in Calabar, where the former Minister for Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke, is the major shareholder, were carted away on Monday by Sypet Oil and Chemical Limited, following a judgment debt valued at N52 million.
Counsel to Sypet Oil, Eric Utang, told this reporter that the company got a judgment of a Calabar High Court presided over by Justice Ofem I. Ofem, in October 2014, ordering the management of Mirage Hotels to pay the balance of N2,937,600. 00 million being balance of payment due to the company for supply of diesel (AGO) to the hotel, and N1.050million, being cost of action, including solicitors fees, bringing the total to N3,987,600 million.
“The judgment ordered the defendant to pay within three months from 30th October, 2014 the day the judgment was delivered and failure to do that shall attract 3 percent interest on the judgment sum per each day of default till liquidation of the entire judgment debt” said Utang who pointed out that the principal sum added to the interest on it has accumulated to the sum N52 million.
Continuing on the carting away of the electricity generating sets, Utang said that: “In July this year, we got a Garnishee Order signed by Justice Emanuel Ayade for us to confiscate the money in the hotel’s accounts, but all the money found in Mirage accounts is not up to 2 percent of the debt which prompted us to effect judgment by carting away the generating sets which could be sold after seven days to settle the debt”.
When contacted on phone for his reaction on the development, Duke retorted: “Is that news. How can a journalist call me over such an issue? Will that put food on the table of Nigerians?” The former minister said enquires on the matter should be directed to the management of the hotel.
When contacted for comments, the manager of the Hotel, Mr. James Ekpe, did not pick calls put to his number, and did not respond to text messages, either.
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