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Published On: Wed, Jul 9th, 2014

Anambra Govt. seals 9 buildings in Onitsha over payment of property rate

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The Anambra  government has sealed nine buildings in Onitsha following the failure of their owners to pay property rates amounting to more than one million naira.

The buildings comprise eight residences and one school in Omagba Phase II area of Onitsha.

The closure, which was carried out by Anambra Property and Land Use Charge (APLUC), followed an order of an Onitsha Magistrates’ Court.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the closure, APLUC Head of Human Resources and Administration/Media, Mrs Chinenye Okafor, said the owners deliberately ignored court summonses to them.

Okafor said that they also ignored hearing notices as they were not represented during the court trial.

She claimed that the residential buildings owed a total of N916, 831 while the school, God’s Own International School, owed N179, 846 between 2011 and 2013.

According to her, APLUC law gives a defaulter the grace of three months to pay up after which they may be charged to court.

“In this instance, they were served with court summons and hearing notices, yet they did not appear in court, but we were able to get judgments against them,” Okafor said.

She said APLUC had so far secured 25 judgments in Awka and Onitsha Magistrates’ Courts while 496 cases were pending in Awka, Onitsha, Idemili North and Nnewi North courts.

Contributing, the APLUC Coordinator of Enforcement, Mr Mecha Udo, expressed concern that in spite of the low property rate in the state, people were reluctant to pay.

“The enforcement was not arbitrarily carried out. Anambra is one of the states with the lowest levies on property yet the people are recalcitrant to comply.

“We have tried to talk to them but they have left us with the only option available which is to seal-up their buildings believing that they will be forced to comply,” he said. NAN

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