A High Court sitting in Calabar has, again, deferred ruling on a motion to strike out a N68m contract dispute case instituted by a firm against the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
The case with suit No. HC/316/2020 between Obi Achara & Co. (Claimant) Vs the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Management Board (Respondent) was instituted after a contract dispute between the two parties over the construction of a COVID-19 isolation centre at the hospital at the cost of about N68m.
In the course of the trial, the claimant had presented 16 exhibits against the defendants to back up its claims before closing its case, while the defendant wanted the case struck out.
The presiding judge, Angela Obi, had fixed July 12, 2021 to rule on the motion to strike out the case but the matter could not come up on the scheduled date as one of the parties to the dispute had a matter outside the jurisdiction.
The matter was again adjourned to October 6 and again rescheduled for October 15, 2021 for the claimants to respond to the rejoinder presented by the respondent whose counsels are Dafe Diegbe and Minika Efa, a legal officer in UCTH.
The claimant’s counsel, Mba Ukweni, SAN, said he began arguing his motion “which we have responded to and he now brought out a reaction to our own motion.
“This is a rejoinder to points of law which he did not serve us and I looked into it and there may be issues of law which he has raised and I may need to counter.”
According to him, there is no other matter pending in another court to warrant the case being struck out.
“There is no other matter in court pending. You cannot relist a matter that was struck out and then find that as a basis to objecting to the one that is existing.
“In the eyes of the law, that matter that was struck out since last year does not exist,” he argued.