The Presbyterian Chụrch of Nigeria, Uburu has dragged Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi before a State High court for taking over its hospital.
The suit also has the State’s Attorney General, Commissioner for Justice and the Ebonyi State House of Assembly as second and third defendants.
In the suit marked: HAB/120/2020, the church seeks N5bn in damages for the takeover and shutting down of the Presbyterian Joint Hospital located in the Governor’s hometown of Ụbụrụ.
The church described the government’s action as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and amounts to trespassing.
Daily Report Nigeria can recall that the State government had in 2020 announced an immediate shutdown and subsequent takeover of the Hospital.
The government said the action is sequel to a petition by the host community over the expiration of the church’s 100-year lease.
The community, according to the state government, had also alleged misappropriation of funds, high medical charges on indigent patients, use of obsolete equipment in the treatment of patients and non-presence of qualified doctors, and urged the state government to take over the management of the hospital. But the church in the suit disagreed with the government’s position arguing that the lease was still subsisting and had not expired.
The church further claimed that the lands upon which the hospital was built were not leased from the entire Uburu community but from specific families.
The church said the three lands upon which the hospital was built is owned by some families in Ụbụrụ and leased in 1917, 1923, and 1958 are still subsisting till 2026, 2052 and for as long as it is being used for the purpose it was leased respectively. They, therefore, prayed the court to declare its leasehold interest over.