The core investor in the rehabilitation and operation of the ailing Hotel Presidential, Enugu, Mr. Chuma Anosike has condemned the invasion of the hotel premises by some security personnel on the orders of the Enugu state government.
Describing it as an unfortunate development, Anosike said, “On Monday October 30th 2017, a group of armed soldiers, policemen and Civil Defence Corps/Legionnaires forced their way into the Hotel Presidential, Enugu manhandled our Security Personnel and attempted to take over the Property.
Since they presented no Letter authorising them to take that action or a valid Court Order our Security Personnel naturally resisted but had to back down when their lives were threatened.”
Anosike said in his statement that “the Invaders claimed to have been instructed to “take over the Hotel” by Mrs. Rita Mbah, the Commissioner of Culture and Tourism who later came to the site in company of some other persons we learnt were “Prospective Investors.”
“When I contacted Mrs. Mbah to confirm if indeed this narrative was correct, she said she was discharging a “Government Directive”. I advised her about the obvious illegality of her action but she proceeded regardless.
“Our lawyers are considering our options and have instructions to take all steps necessary to protect our legal interest.”
He said “Primeview Hotels Ltd is the Concessionaire of the Hotel Presidential. By virtue of the Joint Venture Agreement date 17th September 2013 between Hotel Presidential Limited, E Hospitality Services Ltd and Primeview Hotels Ltd and the Deed of Assignment dated 6th February 2014 between Hotel Presidential Ltd and Primeview Hotels Ltd respectively legal title in the Property is vested in Primeview Hotels Ltd (PHL) for 35 years commencing from 1st of October 2013.
PHL has been in uninterrupted possession of the Property since August 2013 and has carried out extensive work both on-site and offsite with a view to redeveloping and transforming the hotel to a world class Hospitality facility.
“Unfortunately, we have experienced a number of setbacks the latest of which is a pending law suit by an entity which claimed to have had a previous interest in the Property.
To the extent that PHL were joined as co-defendants in the suit together with the Officials of the Enugu State Government, we advised the Government to resolve the matter as the facts relating to the dispute arose prior to our engagement.”
He said since 2015, they had met with the Government team including His Excellency, the Governor, his Deputy, members of the State Privatisation Council and the Commissioner of Culture and Tourism and we have kept them apprised of our challenges and suggested ways in which we can move forward.
He said “At the last of such meetings held in June this year, it was agreed that efforts would be made to reach out to Status Symbol Ltd, the litigant in the aforesaid suit with a view to arriving at an amicable resolution so that we could all move forward without further hindrance.”
He said in the meantime, PHL had continued to work with its Consultants to fine-tune plans for the restoration of the Hotel including making funding arrangements which had altered significantly given the foreign exchange situation and level of inflation in the country.
“We therefore received with great shock and disappointment the information that Mrs. Mbah had decided against good reason, common sense and more importantly in flagrant disregard of the provisions of a legally binding agreement taken matters into her own hands and orchestrated an attempted violent takeover of the Hotel from PHL.
We have as at 30th September 2017 invested over a $1,200,000 (One Million Two Hundred US Dollars) in the Project and will take all necessary steps to protect our investment.
“We take this opportunity to appeal to His Excellency, Governor Ugwanyi whose record so far is quite impressive not to allow the action of a few misguided elements in his administration tarnish his hard-earned reputation.