Home NEWS EDUCATION Landlord Throws Out Students Of Otuoke University Over N24 Million Rent Arrears

Landlord Throws Out Students Of Otuoke University Over N24 Million Rent Arrears

Bolaji Aluko of UniOtuoke

A private hostel owner, Emmanuel Toiyebo, has thrown out more than 100 students of the Federal University, Otuoke in Bayelsa State over unpaid rent amounting to N24 million.

The affected students were assigned to the hostel as part of the Bayelsa State government’s contribution to assist the newly established university located in Otuoke, the hometown of President Goodluck Jonathan. But the landlord alleged that both the university and the state government owed him two years’ arrears of rent, hence his decision to evict the students.
The 52-bedroom hostel, known as the Oniegbum Hostel, is located a few minutes from Jonathan’s country home. In 2014, Bayelsa State procured the hostel as a residential facility for students, and handed the hostel to the university at a ceremony presided over by the Secretary to the State Government, Dakoru Allison-Oguru.
The Federal University, Otuoke, was one of the nine new universities established by the Jonathan administration in 2011. Mobolaji Aluko, a professor at Howard University, Washington, DC, was appointed the university’s inaugural vice chancellor.
Commenting on the development, the dean of student affairs, Marcellina Offoha said the students were supposed to move back into the hostel this week, and confirmed that the facility has now been locked up even as he expressed confidence that the state government, the university and the landlord would settle the dispute “in the shortest time possible.

he said that they have to beg the landlord and that discussions with the school and the state government are continuing.
The eviction letter to the students was issued by a lawyer to the landlord and signed by R.E. Ndiomu. The letter read: “We the landlords of the 52-bedroom apartments at Onuegbum, Otuoke Road, Otuoke, give you notice to quit and deliver possession of the aforementioned property with its appurtenances which you hold as a tenant on or before the expiration of seven days upon the receipt of this notice, for failure of the Bayelsa state government through the office of the Secretary to the state government, Bayelsa state to pay the balance of N24 million as rent accruable.
“We have been patiently waiting for the balance [of the] sum since last year but have been frustrated by the lack of commitment which the Bayelsa state government has shown despite several attempts to get the state government to adhere to its promise as we have kept our part of the bargain hence the notice.”

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The eviction warned that the landlord would repossess the hostel if the students did not adhere to the eviction notice.

The eviction notice was copied to the vice chancellor, the chief legal adviser to the university, and the Secretary of the state government. The affected recipients received the letter March 10, 2015.
The landlord said that he had made several attempts to resolve the dispute over rent with the Bayelsa State government. He added that all the meetings he held with university as well as state government officials had failed to resolve the issue of the outstanding rent. [myad]


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