Two Weeks After, Delta Ministry Of Housing Still Under Seal Over N9million Debt

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Barely two weeks after a Delta State High Court sitting in Asaba locked out staffers of the ministry of housing and sealed off the ministry following refusal of the state government to pay three years rent of N9 million owed the landlord of the building, housing the ministry annex, the ministry is still under lock and key.

Our correspondent gathered following efforts by the landlord to meet with the commissioner of housing, Mr.  Joseph Ogeh and his lands and survey counter part for payment which has always failed forced the landlord of the building, Mr. Godwin Ekunie, to drag the state Ministry of Lands and Surveys which is in charged with the payment of the rent, to court to seek for payment of his overdue rents.

The case with a suit No A/260/2014, it was learned the court had on April 14, 2016 ruled that the landlord was entitled to the possession of the two-storey building with the appurtenance adding that the claimant should recover against the defendant the manse profit at the rate sum of N3,000,000 per annum from January 1, 2014 until possession is given up.

A visit by our correspondent to the ministry, this morning along the popular summit road, Asaba, it was observed that the entire building was still under luck and key with court papers pasted at the gate.

Speaking to our correspondent, one of the staff of the ministry said the commissioner, Mr. Joseph Ogeh has always put up “nonchalant” attitude whenever he was approached to put head together with his lands and survey counterpart to settle the debt.

“Our commissioner, Ogeh is not bothered about our plight all what he cares about is how to use his private architectural firm to amass wealth from the state government. Time without number we met him to complain and appeal to him to come to our rescue by meeting the Lands and Survey commissioner in charge of all payment of government rented offices but wouldn’t listened to us. Now we have been chased out by court. The commissioner is a failure, he is not fit to supervise that ministry.

“It’s a shame that a housing ministry can not provide offices for its workers and can not pay it’s rent fees what a disgraced. We are aware of all his antecedents back then in DESPADEC as a commissioner representing Isoko and till date his people have not recovered from his bad representation. Ogeh is a contractor and does not concern about the plights of the staff and is only interested in what he can grab from the government. I am calling on the state government to without delay pay all outstanding debt so that we can resume our normal work.” the staff said.

It would be recalled that few weeks ago, the owner of the building, housing the state internal revenue board along the Onitsha-Benin express way stormed the office and pad locked the gate and barricaded it with a trip of sand following refusal to pay his rent.

The Lands and Survey commissioner, Mr. Dan Okenyi, now commissioner of Art, Culture and Tourism, had last year during a press briefing stated that the state government pay over N600 million annually for rented office accommodation across the state but this a senior staff of the ministry dismissed saying it’s a scam. “The commissioner does not know what he was saying. This is how they continue to loot the state, striving in corruption. Let him come out and give public account.” the staff said.

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