By Festus Ahon

ASABA—STAFF of Delta State Ministry of Housing have been locked out of their offices, following the sealing off of their office premises on the orders of a state High Court sitting in Asaba over the ministry’s inability to pay three years rent of N9 million owed the landlord.

Our correspondent who visited the ministry’s office on Summit Road by Revenue House, observed that some of the ministry workers were seen loitering about while others sat under a tree and beside a kiosk in front of the twin storey building office annex.

While a large number of the workers declined comments on the matter, one who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, said: “I came to work this morning (yesterday) to find that our office had been sealed off. I am aware that we are having some issues with the landlord. We are owing him three years rent, 2014, 2015 and 2016.”

Another staff, said: “We have been in court with the landlord over our inability to pay rent for the past three years,  but I thought the matter had since been resolved only for us to get here this morning (yesterday) to find that we have been locked out.”

Efforts to reach the Ministry’s top officials for comments proved abortive at press time.

The landlord of the building consisting of four duplexes, Chief Godwin Ekunie, had dragged the state Ministry of Lands and Surveys, which is charged with the payment of the rent, to court seeking payment of his overdue rents.

The court in the suit No A/260/2014 had on April 14, 2016 adjudged that the landlord was entitled to the possession of the two-storey building with the appurtenance.

It also held 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.”

 

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