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Rent tears LG, landlord apart

Posted by By CHRIS ANUCHA on 2005/08/26 | Views: 393 |

Rent tears LG, landlord apart


A battle line seems to have been drawn between the Oshimili Local Government and the owner of the two-storey building which serves as its headquarters over unpaid rent, spanning five years.

A battle line seems to have been drawn between the Oshimili Local Government and the owner of the two-storey building which serves as its headquarters over unpaid rent, spanning five years.

The unpaid arrears was put at N855, 000 while the landlord is also claiming the sum of N145, 000 for damages done to the building, bringing the total figure to N1million.
Daily Sun findings showed that the landlord, Deacon S.0. Emetanjo, has concluded plans to institute a legal action against the council, for failing to pay the arrears of rent from October 2000 to August 2005.

The council, currently under the chairmanship of Dr Augustine Obidi, rented the building of six flats, located at Obigbo quarters, Akwukwu-Igbo, in 1998.
The building is also said to be housing other tenants like the Nigerian Immigration Service, Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, Local Education Authority Board, State Independent Electoral Commission, Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, among others.
Further investigations revealed that agreement between Ementanjo and the council was made on April 4, 1998.

The tenancy agreement made available to Daily Sun showed that some of the terms agreed on by both parties states that, the tenant would pay monthly rent of N2,500 only, for each flat and N180,000 per annum.
According to the landlord, after the expiration of the two years, his tenant (Oshimili LG) reneged on the agreement, thereby, making it difficult for him to enjoy the fruit of his labour.
Several attempts were made to make the council pay him the arrears but these dild not yield positive results.

In one of such letters to the council chairman, dated December 8, 2003, Ementanjo requested the sum of N720,000, being arrears for the period between 2000 and 2003.
“I, Deacon S.O. Emetanjo, the landlord, owner of the two-storey building of six flats situated at Obigbo quarters, Akwukwu-Igbo, hereby assign the bearer, my son, Barrister Emmanuel Emetanjo, on my behalf, to demand and collect the cheque for the payment of the arrears of rent on my building situated at Obigbo quarters-Akwukwu town for the period 2000-2003 inclusive, amounting to the sum of N720,000(Seven hundred and Twenty thousand naira only),” the letter said.
But what the efforts could yield later was a cheque of N150,000, issued by the council on November 30, 2004.

In July 23, Deacon Emetanjo authorised his son, Barrister Emmanuel Emantanjo to institute and prosecute legal proceedings on his behalf, against the local government council.
The power of attorney further authorised him to prosecute and claim the said arrears from the council.
In another letter to the chairman, demanding the recent arrears and giving him a pre-action notice, which was sent through courier service in July 25, Emetanjo, through his lawyers, Elunor&Elunor legal practitioners, asked the council to pay the arrears within thirty days of the receipt of the letter, adding, “we shall on the 24th of August 2005 institute legal proceedings against you, claiming the rent arrears and damages.”

The letter ended with a warning: “A stitch in time saves nine.”
When the council chairman was contacted on phone to comment on the matter, he explained that the rent arrears were there before he took over as the chairman of the local government council.
“Government is a continuum. I met the rent there when I came into office. It has been there for the past four years,” he said.

Obidi confirmed that the building houses other tenants, adding that the council was only being magnanimous by paying on their behalf.
“We have paid some money. This is blackmail. This is a democracy, he should have gone to the court,” he said
The council boss explained that the LG would not be distracted by the threat from the landlord, as his government is trying to deliver the dividends of democracy.
“The local government area has other problems, which is, developing the area. We are doing that. We can’t solve the problem of one man to the detriment of the welfare of the people. I will get the landlord on phone now,” he told Daily Sun.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.