Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Four power generating sets belonging to Mirage Hotels in Calabar, where former Minister for Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke, is the major shareholder, were carted away on Monday by Sypet Oil and Chemical Limited, following a judgement debt valued at N52 million.
Counsel to Sypet Oil, Eric Utang, who spoke about the development, said the company got a judgement from a Calabar High Court presided over by Justice Ofem I. Ofem, in October 2014, ordering the management of Mirage Hotels to pay the balance of N2,937,600. 00 being the balance of payment due to the company for supply of diesel (AGO) to the hotel, and N1.050 million being ter cost of action, including solicitors’ fees, bringing the total to N3,987,600.
Utang stated that the court had also ordered that if the hotel’s management failed to pay the debt after three months from 30th October, 2014, the judgment day, the principal sum shall attract 3 percent interest daily.
The counsel said since the management of the hotel did not pay the debt as ordered by the court, the principal sum added to the interest on it has accumulated to the sum N52 million.
“The judge ordered the defendant to pay within three months from 30th October, 2014, the day the judgment was delivered, and failure to do that shall attract 3 percent interest on the judgment sum per each day of default till liquidation of the entire judgement debt,” Utang stated.
He said from every indication, it appeared that the management of the hotels was not prepared to pay the debt, a situation he said prompted Sypet Oil to enforce the court judgement by carting away items from the hotel which could be disposed off to settle the debt after seven days.
Commenting specifically on the carting away of the power generating sets from the hotel’s premises, Utang said: “In July this year, we got a garnishee order signed by Justice Emanuel Ayade for us to confiscate the money in the hotel’s accounts, but all the money found in Mirage accounts is not up to 2 percent of the debt which prompted us to effect judgement by carting away the generating sets which could be sold after seven days to settle the debt.”
When contacted on phone for his reaction on the development, Duke retorted: “Is that news. How can a journalist call me over such an issue. Will that put food on the table of Nigerians”.