Construction giant sued over alleged N3.9m rent arrears
AN Ughelli, Delta State landlady, Mrs. Victoria Oteheri, has dragged construction giant, SETRACO Nigeria Limited before a High Court sitting in Ughelli, over an alleged N3.9 million debt owed her as rent arrears by the company from January 2012 to May 2015.
In a statement of claim by her counsel, T.C Ubini, she alleged that the company had taken possession of the property on June 1, 2005 after agreeing to lease it for two years for the sum of N1,728,000 at the rate of N72, 000 per month.
In suit no, UHC/63/2015, the claimant is also seeking the payment of N13.4 million for damages allegedly caused to the property, a six-flat storey building, said to be situated at 40 Amekpa Street, Ughelli.
She also claimed that the tenancy was reviewed upon wherein the defendants accepted paying the sum of N2, 299, 968 being payment for two years rent in advance at the rate of N95, 832, adding that the defendant made payment until January 2012 when she was told that the tenancy would not be renewed.
The plaintiff said that on inspection of the property by both parties, she discovered that the building was manifestly damaged by the soldiers, which the defendant put in the property as against the initial agreement that the company’s expatriates were to be sole occupants.
Oteheri added that she demanded that the property be repaired and put in good tenantable condition in compliance with the tenancy agreement.
Continuing, she claimed that the parties had after the inspection agreed that the property required a wholesome renovation to cost between N13 million and N15 million but expressed disappointment that the matter was being treated with levity by the company’s Area Manager and Project Manager at its branch office in Ughelli.
According to her, the property had been “lying in waste since December 2011 and the defendant who is in possession has allowed the property to ruin, depriving the claimant the keys to the property.”