Thursday, 9 April 2020

COVID-19: Contractor who built isolation centre at UCTH cries for his life, SAN writes Commissioner


9 April 2020 

...SAN writes Commissioner of Police

The controversy surrounding the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, Coronavirus Isolation Centre is still ongoing. 

Again the contractor who built the isolation centre at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, on Wednesday raised the alarm over threats to his life by a supplier NEGROIDHAVEN can say authoritatively.

The Managing Director, Obi Achara Nigeria Limited, Mr James Obi said that his life and that of his immediate family was now in danger owing to the threats by a supplier he got roofing materials used in the isolation center.

Obi said: 'I got supply of roofing materials including ceiling, wood and nail worth 7.4million Naira from Mr Okey Opara in September, 2017 and I made an initial deposit of 1million naira leaving an outstanding of N6.4million.

"But I have been unable to pay him the balance becuase I dont have it yet as UCTH management are still owing me huge sums of money over the job even though I have handed over the keys.

"But many of the suplliers apart from the one threatening me believe I must have been paid before I handed over the keys to UCTH, but it is not true. I am appealling to the Minister of Health, President Buhari to come to my aid, becuase I have not been paid till now.

"It is well over three months I handed over the keys under the circumstances I did not because I don't know what to do , but for the interest of Nigerians I gave them the keys peacefully, but till date I have not been approached officially by the management of UCTH," he bemoaned.

When contacted, Mba Ukweni, SAN counsel to Mr James Obi said they had written to the Commissioner of Police , Cross River state: "Report of incessant Threat to my Life &That of My Family by One Walter Okey Opara".

"The roofing material supplied by Mr Walter Opara to our client was for the roofing of Calabar Isolation Centre at the UCTH.The hospital is yet to make payment in respect of the said contract.

"Our client has however gone out if his way to make the initial payment and is still making concerted efforts to pay up the total sum without neccesarily waiting for UCTH.

"Our client has however explained the situation to Mr Walter Okey for patience , inspite of this, Mr Walter Okey has been threatening his life. Our client is highly apprehensive and indeed highly threatened and afraid for his life and that of his immediate family.

It would be recalled that the Chief Medical Director, UCTH, Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme had earlier reassured that the hospital has not reneged on its promise to offset the debt to the contractor.

His words: "We are not denying that we are owing him, but we pleaded with him to kindly hand over the place to us, which he did and we promised to pay him when funds were available.

"We have not reneged on our promise and we don't have time lag as far as the payment is concerned but what we said in the agreement was that, once funds were available we will pay, and we have not deviated from that", Ikpeme said.




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