He also prayed to the court for an order compelling the Ist defendant to cause the 2nd defendant to pay his client the admitted sum.

In an affidavit in support of the motion, the applicant, Ubokutom Nyah, under ‘Otto Trinity Studios’ as his business name noted that the defendants/Respondents had actually admitted shortchanging him to the tune of  N10,279,391, from the bill he submitted after completion of architectural consultancy services he had rendered.

He noted further that the defendants had in March 2014 through a letter from Commissioner for Special Duties appointed him as a resident consultant to render architectural consultancy services to the Hotel complex then under construction at Ikot Ekpene, which he accepted.

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He said on his successful completion of the service, “I submitted my bill/invoice in the sum of N1, 025, 838, 385.96 (One billion, twenty-five million, eight hundred and thirty-eight thousand, three hundred and eighty-five naira, ninety-six kobo only) via a letter dated January 18, 2016.

“I know that the 1st Respondent in reaction to my bill/invoice for payment of professional fees dated January 18, 2016, unilaterally introduced the 2nd Respondent, into the contract to handle payment of professional fees due to me for unknown reasons.

“I protested against the forceful injection of the 2nd Respondent into my bilateral contract with the 1st Respondent and the consequential financial shortchange resulting from this strange procedure.

“I carefully audited all payments made to me by the 2nd defendant/respondent and discovered the following short-payments which cumulatively resulted in the shortchange of N42,083,853.37 (Forty-two million, Eight-three thousand, Eight hundred and fifty -three naira, thirty-seven Kobo) only.

“I state further that I demanded the refund of the aforestated short-payments from the Ist Defendant/Respondent via my letter dated March 22, 2021. I also know that the Ist Defendant by their letter dated April 1, 2021, forwarded my protest letter to the 2nd Respondent for reaction.

“But the 2nd Defendant/Respondent by their letter dated April 27, 2021, responded to Ist Defendant/Respondent and admitted that they actually shortchanged me to the tune of Ten million, Two hundred and seventy-nine thousand, three hundred and ninety-one naira, thirty-one kobo (N10,279, 391.31) only.

“That on January 10, 2023, I wrote a letter to Ist Respondent herein and demanded that they prevail on 2nd Respondent who is their agent to pay me the admitted sum but they refused.

“That except this honourable court orders the Defendants/Respondents to pay me this admitted sum, they will continue in their intransigence,” the applicant stressed.

Meanwhile, Landsea Construction & Engineering Ltd in the letter addressed to Commissioner Ministry of Special Duties & Aviation Akwa Ibom State, via the Permanent Secretary, dated, April 27, 2021, admitted net shortchange to Otto Trinity to the tune of N10, 279, 391 only.

A copy of the letter which was signed by the Project Consultant Manager, Oliver Ebong, and made available to journalists in Uyo reads in part, “I  take responsibility for the sharing mistakes and will effect redress to Otto Trinity willingly.

“At no point was there any intention to ‘defraud’ any consultant, definitely not myself Landsea that also got shortchanged.

“In reaction to your letter on issues raised in Otto Trinity’s consultancy fees shortchange, I have checked all the payments received from inception, painstakingly computed/shared same and compared such to the initial sharing with my colleagues and admit to net shortchanges to Otto Trinity and Landsea, but net overpayments to Dranibs.

“However, the shortchange to Otto Trinity is N10, 279,391.31 only not what he claimed for reasons provided above.

“I reiterate my readiness to make good this shortchange as soon as you conclude your mediation,” the letter stated.

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