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Anambra govt, transport investor battle over N700m Onitsha terminal deal


The company had already dragged the state government and its agencies to an Onitsha High Court presided by Hon Justice S. I Oguji over the matter.

The Anambra State government and authorities of Urban Terminal Transport Ltd, Onitsha are on a collision course following alleged decision of the state government to chase away the company after it had invested a whooping N700 million in the project, ANAMBRA PEOPLE reports.

The company had already dragged the state government and its agencies to an Onitsha High Court presided by Hon Justice S. I Oguji over the matter.

The defendants in the case are the Anambra State government, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Planning, and Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, ANSIPPA.

Officials of the company said they observed to their dismay that government and its agencies which were defendants in the case, were doing everything possible to frustrate expeditious hearing of the matter.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Obinna Adindu informed the court during a resumed hearing that despite its earlier order, agencies of the state government have been making use of the property without recourse to the original agreement between the two parties.

However, counsel to the defendants, Mr. Ifeanyi Agwuncha said it was not their intention to disobey the court, assuring that they would be ready for the defense during the next adjourned date.

The Managing Director of Urban Terminal 1 Transport Ltd, Onitsha, Mr. Obiora said the company was surprised at the action of the state government and its agencies.

He said: “We are disappointed because this is an investment transaction that is running on heavy interest from the financial institutions. The matter was adjourned for definitive hearing and cross examination of witnesses, only for us to be served series of court processes by the defendants in court.

“To the best of our knowledge, those actions are simply meant to delay the course of justice. They are just buying time and we are surprised that a state that hurriedly chased us away from our investment without court order is saying they are not ready to defend that action.

“The judge has adjourned the case till December, 2022 and meanwhile the interest on the loan used for the investment is running.

“During the last hearing, the judge gave a definitive order that the status quo should be maintained but up till now, the government and its agencies are not respecting that order.

”The governor and agencies of government that are meant to abide by the ruling of the court were all written and it is sad that they are flouting the order with impunity.

“This is a type of investment that the state needs to encourage other investors to come into Anambra and invest. If we are being treated in this manner after investing over N700m, how can other investors be encouraged?

“What we want is for the government to respect the court order issued by the judge which is that the status quo should be maintained until the final determination of the case.

“Presently, the agents of the state government are operating in the said terminal. They are not just operating; they are removing equipment we installed in the place.

“Last week, the armored cables that were used in providing power to the terminal were all looted and sold off.

“As this matter remains unresolved, we are losing heavily because the investment is running in an interest rate of over 30% and the original investment was in excess of N700m.”

Recall that the company and the administration of former Governor Willie Obiano signed the agreement for the establishment of the transport terminal at the Upper Iweka area of Onitsha to ease the traffic gridlock in the area and generate revenue for government.

Shortly after the takeoff of the terminal, officials of the state government allegedly chased the company away and started operating there.

Credit: Anambra Current News

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