An Onitsha based businessman, Ben Ubakaeze has placed a demand of N36millon to the management of Iyienu Mission Hospital, Ogidi, in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, as a condition to quitting the facility.
Ubakaeze, an evangelist and Prayer Director, Chapel of Divine Compassion of the Hospital, but also ran a provision store business in the premises, vowed not to vacate the property unless the hospital management offset the bill.
He claimed the stated amount of money was used to clean up the place and set up structures for the business in the premises, as well as the profit he would have made from 2014 to 2044 if not ejected from there.
Meanwhile, the Management of the hospital which claimed it needed space for expansion, said it dragged the complainant to court to recover both the place and one year areas of the rent he was allegedly owing it.
Ubakaeze claimed he applied for the space in contention in 2009 and was granted by the management of the hospital on condition that he would clear the dump site, generated by the state government contractor, CCC Construction Company, that handled the construction of old Nkpor-Awka road.
He further claimed he fulfilled the dump site clearing condition by hiring a pay loader/excavator and two tipper lorries with the sum of N500,000 to evacuate the heaps of rubbles which took them three weeks.
“They also told me to give the space a befitting look as a Park/ Shop/ Relaxation Center, and I did by spending N2.5million on a florist from Enugu who brought different types of carpet grass and planted in and around the space after the refuse has been evacuated.
“I also spent N1.530 million on buying sand, cement and small stones as well as blocks to cover the area carved out for shop, N8.6 million for acquiring the container that was fitted into the block work, N525,100 for Aluminium roofing for the shop, N1.7 million for entire plumbing of the Shop/Park/Relaxation Center and over head water tank,’ he said.
The cleric also claimed he spend a whooping sum of N5.7 million as cost of rusts and leakages for temporary stop of work, directed by the management to settle their disagreement with their landlord, the Oze community in Nkwele Ezunaka.
He listed other expenses ranging from N11, 400 to N250,250 spent on over eight items he purchased to set up the Shop/Park/Relaxation Center,.
“These investments and resources i expended in the place was with a view to reaping the proceeds for at least 30 years with projected revenue of N500’000 per annum after expenses and payment of rent which was not initially in the agreement.
“From the initial agreement i am supposed to stay in the place till 2044 with estimated income of N15 million at the rate of N500,000 per annum.
“I started business there in 2014 and now they want me to quit without recouping what I spent before setting up the business there. If they must eject me from there fairness demands that they will pay me the sum of N36 million as expenses and what I would have made as gain, otherwise I will not leave the place.”
However, lawyer to Iyi-Enu hospital management, Rev. Dr Emma Ezeugo, denied that the management entered into any agreement with Ubakaeze, saying that the place was an already existing park before he was permitted to stay there.
He said it was impossible for a dump site to exist side by side with a hospital, rather the place was already a beautified park and he was only directed to bring a container to sell his goods.
“He was given six months quit notice which expired in January 31,2020 and seven day grace was also given to him to quit, but he refused, and we decide to drag him to court instead of using self help,” he noted.