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Judex Okoro, Calabar

A Calabar High Court has subpoenaed the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme, to appear before it on December 15 to give explanation over a N68 million Isolation Centre contract debt.

Other hospital management team summoned to appear before Court 11 to the contractual agreement between the UCTH and Obi Achara Nig Limited on the construction of the said Isolation Centre include Ededet Eyoma Obong, Esq, the Director of Adminstration; Dr Ernest Afu Ochang, Head of Department/Chairman of UCTH IPAC; Mr Sunday Eloma, Director of Finance and Account; Mr Paul Ihwo, Head of Department, Procurement; and Engr Offor Jonah, Head of Department, Works/Engineering.

Obi Achara Nig Ltd and the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital management board has been in court since last year in a suit no HC/316/2020.

A letter dated November 16, titled “Subpoena Ad Testificandum/Dices Tecum Brought Pursuant To Order 31, Rule 21 of The High Court Of Cross River State(Civil procedures) Rules, 2008”, signed by Justice Angela Obi, and addressed to chief medical director of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme, charged the UCTH CMD to appear before court 11 on the date stated above.

Part of the clauses in the letter reads:

‘You are commanded in the name of the Cross River State governor to attend before the High Court 11 at Calabar, on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, at the hours of 9’o clock in the afternoon.

‘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 15, 2016 and letter from Obi Achara Nigeria Ltd dated January 3, 2020,’ the court letter concluded.

Last Monday, during the proceeding, the counsel to defendants, Dafe Diegbe and Co, prayed the court to strike strike out the case and do find merit in his argument.

The counsel to the Claimant (Obi Achara Nig. Ltd) Mba Ukweni, SAN, however, kicked against it, saying ‘justice will not be served if the court grants the defendants motion,’ and arguing that ‘if anything constitutes an abuse of court process is the defendants motion before this court.

‘Therefore, 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 the matter to December 15.

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About Author

Hi, I,m Pospi Otuson. A Nigerian Blogger, Social Entrepreneur and Convener of the renowned Boki Business Conference. CEO/Founder of Possibility Desk, the largest online consulting platform for possibilities in the world.

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