Supreme Court affirms N1b debt owed Imo Govt.

The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal Owerri which upheld N1 billion contract debt owed E.F. Network Nigeria Limited by the Imo State Government.

Delivering judgment, Justice Amina Augie, held that the appeal filed by the Imo state government and Gov. Rochas Okorocha challenging the judgment of the lower court was not meritorious.

Augie, who read the judgment prepared by Justice Kayode Arioola therefore, ordered the Imo State Governor all other three appellants to immediately pay the firm and its promoter, Mr Gideon Egbuchulam the N1billion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judgment sum was an outstanding amount left unpaid in a contract awarded to the company in 2008 under the administration of the state’s former governor, Ikedi Ohakim.

Augie went ahead to dismiss the appeal and awarded N500, 000 cost against the appellants.

NAN reports that other appellants listed in the suit were Attorney-General of Imo State, Environmental Transformation Committee (Imo Entraco) and The Ministry of Environment, Imo State.

Okorocha and others had approached the apex court to challenge the July 4, 2016 judgment of the court of appeal, Owerri.

The appellate court had upheld the Feb. 11, 2014 judgment delivered by Justice Ijeoma Agugua of the Imo State High Court which gave the initial judgment against the state government.

The judgment creditors (E.F Network Nig. Ltd and Egbuchulam) had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the appellants failed to pay the sum after an execution of a contract for the state government.

The company and its promoter were contracted by Ohakim’s administration which Okorocha succeeded to implement the state’s Clean and Green Initiative.

The firm was awarded a contract to supply 10 million refuse bags and 40,000 plastic rolling containers at N42 per bag and N20 per plastic container.

NAN

Abdulazeez Author

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