Confusion, fear, and apprehension have gripped the staff of Federal Ministry of Information in Umuahia as the landlord of the office complex housing them has concluded plans to evict them over the inability of the Federal Government and the ministry to pay rent amounting to over two years by last March, 2017.
Information available to The Abia Times shows that already, the Landlord, Late Chief (Sir)S. N Okoroafor, represented by his children, Lady R. O. Okoroafor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okoroafor, Mr. Uzoma Okoroafor and Dr. Sunny Okoroafor, has perfected all necessary court documents to evict their tenant, the Federal Ministry of Information any moment from now.
Court documents indicates that on the 12th of August, 2017, the Landlord had obtained a court “Notice To Tenant of Owners Intention To Apply To Court To Recover Possession” and subsequently obtained court “Notice of Quit” on the 31st August, 2017.
All of these documents emanated from the Magistrate Court, Umuahia upon application by the council to the landlord, Adizua C. Okoroafor, with reference numbers, 650420F and 420/2017 respectively.
A source close to the No. 4 Azikiwe Road office said that already, the staff, who are visibly jittery, have been nursing the ambition of removing their personal items from the building before the courts seals the place.
Though the court documents did not indicate the total amount the ministry is owing, information at the disposal of The Abia Times indicates that the ministry was at the rent of N55, 000,00 monthly, meaning that up to March this year, the ministry is owing about mere N1, 320, 000.00 and about N1, 650,000.00 as at September 30, 2017.
Information available shows that this debt accrued since the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, became the Minister, as well as his relocation to Culture Department, that the ministry started suffering.
A source in Abuja revealed that as at date, to purchase mere stationeries in the Information Department of the ministry is as hard as seeing a N5000.00 note, while all about the information department of the ministry has stagnated.
To worsen the matter, the landlords are from a family of lawyers and though decent and friendly, the family does not tolerate nonsense from anyone.
So, if nothing is done by the ministry, the Umuahia, Abia State office will have its office equipment thrown outside by the court soonest.