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Court summons UCTH CMD over N68m contract debt

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A High Court sitting in Calabar has summoned the Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme to appear before Court 11, on December 15, 2021, to explain the N68 million contract debt the hospital management owes a contractor.

In suit No. HC/316/2020 between Obi Achara Nig.Ltd and the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Management Board, the court directed the UCTH CMD to appear before Court 11 on December 15.

A letter dated November 16, 2021, signed by Justice Angela Obi, and addressed to the CMD asked him to appear on the stated date.

Part of the letter read, “You are commanded in the name of the Cross River State Governor to appear before the High Court 11 at Calabar, on Wednesday, on the 15 day of December 2021 at the hours of 9 O’clock in the forenoon.

“And so from day to day until the above cause is tried, to give evidence on behalf of the claimant and also to bring with you and produce at the same time and place aforesaid documents.

“Letter for award of contracts for the construction for emerging pathogens research and management dated November 16, 2016, and letter from Obi Achara Nigeria Ltd dated January 3, 2020.”

On Monday at High Court 11, during the proceeding, before adjournment of the matter to December 15, 2021, counsel to defendants, Dafe Diegbe and Co prayed the court to find merit in his argument and  strike out the case.

However, counsel to the claimant, Mba Ukweni, SAN, prayed  the court not to strike out the case.

He said justice will not be served if the court grants the defendants’ motion, arguing that if anything constitutes an abuse of court process it is the defendants’ motion before the court.

Ukweni stated that asking the court to strike out the case is an indirect way of calling for a review of the decision in suit No. HC/104/2020 which is a court of coordinate jurisdiction.

The presiding Judge, Justice Angela Obi, after listening to both arguments,  adjourned till December 15, 2021, for ruling.

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