By Archibong Jeremiah
Dr. Gertrude Njar, Chairman Cross River State Branch, Nigeria Institution of Surveyor (CRS-NIS) has dragged the State Surveyor General, Surveyor Eyo Oku to the Federal High Court Calabar for alleged misconduct seeking damages of N50, 000, 00.00 (Fifty million naira) only.
Our newsroom gathered from independent sources that in the suit (HC/456/2016) the Claimant (Dr. Gertrude Njar) accused the Surveyor General of abuse of office, diversion of funds, running illegal accounts among others.
Consequently, a letter of summons dated 17th October, 2016 was served Surveyor Eyo Oku, where the Claimant seeks the following, “Whether the Defendant has the power to operate an account of the Government of Cross River State in the name of a Committee as SURCON SURVEY CHARTING FEE (SURVEY DEPARTMENT).
Whether by the combine effects of the Surveyors Registration Council of Nigeria ACT CAP, S18 LAWS of Nigeria 2004 and the rules and regulation for the control of survey practice the Defendant as Chairman of SURCON State Committee on Ethics (SSCE), Cross River State Branch has the power to suspend a member of the committee”.
Furthermore that, “Whether Surveyor Eyo Oku, Surveyor General of Cross River State has the power to issue a name requesting to replace the Claimant as a member of the SURCON State Committee on Ethics, Cross River State Branch and subsequently change the letterhead of the Ethics Committee to now have a single person tagged Chairman of the Committee”.
“Whether the Defendant has the power to order banks to change signatories and remove the name of the Claimant and replace same with a person not a member of the Ethics Committee (SSCE).
Whether the Defendant has the power to fund the office of the Surveyor General, his official residence and his personal staff who are not members of SURCON State Committee on Ethics with its funds.
In the summons which was signed by the court registrar, Dr. Njar prayed the court to issue “a declaration that the act of the Defendant in suspending the Claimant as a member of the SURCON State Committee on Ethics is null, void and of no effect whatsoever”.
The claimant also wants the court to issue an order reinstating the Claimant as a member of SSCE, Cross River State Branch as well as to rescind the letters directing Zenith Bank Plc and Heritage Bank to remove her name as signatory to the Committee accounts.
She further prayed the court to issue “An order directing the Surveyor General of the State to pay back funds already used by him to fund his government office, residence and non SSCE staff. And damages of N50, 000, 000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) be awarded”.
When contacted, Surveyor Eyo Oku, State Surveyor General said, “There’s no story she has taken me to court, that’s the only thing I can tell you for now.
“She has been making allegations I told you before, they are the same backwards and forward, I have told you before I don’t have issues with Njar there is a right process for this thing”.
About the claim of fifty million naira for damages, he said, “Is it today? These things are not new, the law is very clear, if you check the law of SURCON the regulatory body it is very clear there is a procedure that needs to be followed, we are in a very delicate time now there is no need to start exchanging words at the end of the day the truth will come out”.
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