The Director-General (Public Servant) of National Council For Women Development, Mary Eta Ekpere Esq., has been dragged to court over failure to pay rent due running into millions of naira.

In the matter with suit no: FCT/HC/CV/827/2019, instituted by way of a writ of summons issued by Bernard Etta Afu Esq., MCIArb (UK), the claimant, Asebe Samuel Ele, has sought among other orders, the sum of N5,000,000.00  as general damages for economic loss suffered arising from loss of legitimate rental income earnings.

An Order directing the Defendant to immediately pay the sum of N6,500,000 as an outstanding balance rent for the period of 1st December, 2017 to 30th November, 2018, N7,000,000.00 for rent due and owed for the period of 1st December, 2018 to 30th November, 2019, and the sum of N2,000,000.00 for Legal and Professional fee paid to Messrs Bernard Etta Afu & Associates for the filing and prosecution of this case.

The Claimant on the face of his statement of claim had claimed to be the owner and Landlord of Plot 1244, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi – Abuja, FCT which comprises of a five (5) bedrooms twin Semi-Detached Duplex. 

As stated in the claim both parties agreed that Mary ETA was to pay the sum of  N10,000,000 per annum which commenced on the 1st December, 2015 and terminated on the 30th November 2016. 
Upon the expiration of the one-year tenancy,  she renewed the tenancy for another one year by making part-payment N4,000,000 leaving an outstanding balance of N6,000,000.

Claimant made several efforts to get the Defendant to offset the outstanding balance rent for 1st December 2016 to 30th November, 2017, but to no avail. When time passed, the Defendant approached the Claimant and pleaded for a reduction of the amount of rent from N10,000,000.00 to N7,000,000.00 (Seven Million Naira) per annum for subsequent tenancy – the Claimant obliged the Defendant and accepted to reduce rent from N10,000,000 to N7,000,000, per annum, upon the Defendant promise to pay all outstanding rent of N6,000,000 (Six Million Naira Only) on or before 31st December, 2017, but when the Defendant failed, neglected and refused to pay outstanding rent at the expiration of 2017.

The Claimant through his agents, in a letter dated 6th February, 2018, demanded payment of N6,000,000 (Six Million Naira) outstanding rent for 1st December, 2016 to 30th November, 2017, and the sum of N7,000,000 (Seven Million Naira) as reduced new rent for the period of 1st December, 2017 to 30th November, 2018 as agreed, total of N13,000,000 (Thirteen Million Naira Only); that similarly, the Claimant through his agents, in a letter dated 21st February, 2018, to the Defendant, the referred the Defendant to a joint meeting of 21st February, 2018 and outlined the Defendant’s promised schedule of payment of outstanding unpaid rent of N13,000,000.00 (Thirteen Million Naira) Only; that  the Claimant through his agents in another letter dated 28th May, 2018 to the Defendant, explained the Defendant’s earlier promise to pay various sums of money at various times to off-set the outstanding rent and that only N3,000,000.00 (Three Million Naira Only) has so far been paid in two separate installments of N2,000,000 (Two Million Naira) and N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) respectively.

The letter demanded payment of N4, 500,000 (Four Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira Only), that has become due payable in terms of the Defendant’s earlier promise, and the Claimant through his agents in a letter dated 30th October, 2018 to the Defendant demanded for the outstanding unpaid rent of N6,500,000 (Six Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira and N7,000,000 (Seven Million Naira Only) rent for the period of 1st December, 2018 to 30th November, 2019 a total of N13,500,000 (Thirteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira Only), being rent owed by the Defendant.

The claimant further averred the defendant has remained in occupation of the demised premises and has refused, failed, and neglected to pay rent, stressing that she has shown dishonesty in all her previous promises to the Claimant and his agents since 2015.

The processes were dated the 7th day of May, 2019 and filed the same day.

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