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Udom Takes Fight Against Late Ime Umanah To Appeal Court

Udom Takes Fight Against Late Ime Umanah To Appeal Court

Not satisfied that the late Dr Ime Umanah floored him at an Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting at Okobo, the state government has approached the court of appeal for reprieve.

The state commissioner for justice, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko told TNN over the telephone that the government was not satisfied with the ruling of the court and therefore decided to appeal against the judgement.

He said the appeal has already been filed. On November 30, 2018, the court ordered the government of Akwa Ibom State to pay the sum of N427 million to the late philanthropist.

Delivering judgement in suite number Ha/64/2014, Mr Justice Iniabasi Udobong said the suit filed by Umanah before he died, was meritorious and therefore, entitled to the reliefs sought.

The late Umanah had, in 2014, filed a suit at the high court asking the court to order the Akwa Ibom State government to pay him the sum of N427m being the value of his plants and machineries he was using for the production of plastics and foam, which were still in the warehouse when the property were sold in 2007.

He stated that an understanding was reached with the state government that the plant and machineries would remain in the warehouse until the government paid the full purchase price of the property.

He told the court that before the full payments were made, the state government started dismantling and vandalizing the plants, which were eventually scrapped by the agents of government.

In the judgement, Udobong said it was not in contention that something was left in the warehouse. While Umanah had argued that there were functional plants and machineries, the government had argued that only scraps were left in the warehouse.

The court also noted that the letter written by the late Umanah to the state government demanding for an inspection and audit of the plants when he learnt that they were being vandalized, was a critical piece of evidence, while the refusal of the government to respond to the letter or embark on the inspection was tacit admittance that indeed the plants had been tampered with.

The late Umanah had in 2007 sold his three warehouses located in Abak to the state government. The warehouses were later leased by government to Green Well Technologies Ltd, a firm said to be blending fertilizer in Abak.

But the state government believes that the judge erred and hopes to get the judgement quashed at the appeal court.

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