By CHUKS Ofurum
Masnagement of Kelvin Frank Nigeria Ltd, has instituted a suit against the Imo State government and Lasbegers West African Ltd over alleged breach of Contract agreement.
In a suit No How/650/2020b instituted by chief Pius Okeke and Kelvin Frank Nigeria Ltd, against, Mr Ifeanyi Okafor, Lasbegers West African Ltd, Mr Justice Okoye (Chairman Imo State Internal Revenue, IIRS), Imo State Internal Revenue Service (IIRS) Attorney General of Imo State and Imo State Government, the firm through their attorney is praying the court to grant an order of Interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents, privies, assigns and or anybody howsoever acting through or for them from further disrupting, interfering or adversely dealing with the 2nd plaintiff’s appointment and operation as a revenue consultant or printing and marketing of consolidated tickets for all commercial transports in owerri zone and okigwe zone pending the hearing and determination of the substantive action.
“That the 1st and 2nd defendants and their groups are about to usurp the plaintiff’s contractual functions and operation as the revenue consultant on printing and marketing of consolidated tickets in Owerri zone and Okigwe zone in the state.”
“That the 3rd to 6th defendants seem to indirectly support or encourage the 1st and 2nd defendants in their attempt at usurping the plaintiff’s contractual functions and operation as the revenue consultant on printing and marketing of consolidated tickets in Owerri zone and Okigwe zone, Imo state”.
Narrating his ordeal to newsmen in the state capital, Owerri, the Proprietor of KELVIN FRANK Nigeria Ltd, Chief Pius Okere disclosed that he sometime in ” August 2019 I applied to Imo state Internal Revenue Service (IIRS) with a proposal for engagement as revenue consultant on Big- Lorry restrictions in the state. I was thereafter contacted and granted the appointment after I made a payment deposit of N5, 000,000. 00 ( Five million naira) into the IIRS / BIR Informal sector UBA account number: 1020098622 on instructions of then chairman of IIRS / BIR, Nze Charles Onwunali.
“Following the violent disruption of my operation as the revenue consultant of Big Lorry restrictions in the state and several attacks from the persons claiming to be Ayozie $ Sons, I made a complaint to the then IIRS chairman requesting a refund of the five million naira payment I had already made for the appointment, but the then IIRS chairman, Nze Charles Onwunali pleaded with me and facilitated my confirmation and appointment as as IIRS daily toll scratch card dealer in Orlu zone with effect from 23rd December, 2019. Few weeks to into my resumption based on contract agreement precisely by January, 2020, the administration of Hon Emeka Ihedioha was ousted from office paving way for the present administration of Gov Hope Uzodinma. To further legitimize my contract agreement with the new administration, I paid a courtesy visit to the new IIRS chairman, Prince Emma Onunaka shortly after a change in the Board structure who advised me to put up a fresh application for the new IIRS board to consider which I did and was approved after payment of another N2.5 million and N150,000 as reregistration fee on the 4th of March, 2020. Just two weeks into operation after renewal of my appointment as revenue consultant on printing and marketing of consolidated tickets for commercial transports in owerri zone and Okigwe zone, the state government’s order / direct as regards COVID-19 lockdown affected our operations as there were restricted vehicular movement in the state, hence pur operations were kept on hold. When the state government eased the lockdown, I was invited by the IIRS chairman to a meeting where I was compelled to make upfront payment before recommencing operation, in compliance, I made the payment of N1.5 million on 11th May, 2020 into the Imo TSA account and an additional N500, 000 based on other logistics, to my surprise, the IIRS chairman, Onunaku was removed from office and replaced with Mr Justice Okoye. The new IIRS chairman, Okoye directed me to make another payment of N3 million naira to enable the new IIRS Board to ratify my appointment which I refused as I term it as exploitation on my part. This necessitated my resolve to approach the court to save me from dubious exploitations from the IIRS board.
Continuing, Chief Pius Okeke disclosed that the present leadership in charge of the IIRS Board had already contracted the revenue consultancy job to LASBEGERSWEST African Ltd, and this is a breach of the contact agreement earlier reached by KELVIN FRANK Nigeria Ltd and the IIRS Board.
” I am not against the state government, all I ask is that the present administration should consider my resumption of the contractual agreement reached or refund the funds I paid into the state government’s coffers as directed by its statutory agents or representatives. I presented my properties as collateral to secure funds paid into the state government’s coffers in order to be considered for appointment. My properties have now been placed for sale since am unable to meet with the loan agreement. The Judiciary they say is the last hope of the common man and this is why I have decided to approach the court.
It was gathered from the suit filed that the matter shall be heated on the 14th of September at the state High Court, this newspaper learnt.