The Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUD) has dismissed certain reports that a Lagos Court has ordered founder of the University, Aare Afe Babalola and the police not to effect or cause arrest of one Mrs. Claire Omatseye and Directors of a company, known as JNCI Limited, Lagos, over an alleged failed supply contract.
The Students Affairs Officer of the University,Mr Babatunde Wahab made this known to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday, describing the report as “totally false and inconsistent with the court pronouncement on the matter”.
He said “contrary to the reports, at no time did the court give such an order, as caused to be published by officials of JNCI, on Aug 9, 2022, ahead of Aug. 11 when the court was to act on their exparte application, which came under a bold headline, “Court Stops Afe Babalola from Arresting JNC staff over Civil Contract for Supply, Installation of Medical Equipment”.
He said the Federal High Court, sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos itself clarified this on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, when the matter came up, before adjourning the case till Sept. 23, 2022, insisting that the pronouncement of the court was that both parties should maintain the status quo.
Wahab’s clarifications was also corroborated by ABUAD lead Counsel and Lagos Head of Afe Babalola & Co (Emmanuel Chambers), Mr Olu Daramola, (SAN), who said “at no time did the court say what the public was made to believe, by the report”.
Wahab said ” Court did not grant injunction against Afe Babalola or the Police from arresting Mrs Claire Omatseye, directors and staff members of JNCI Limited
” At the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, the court only advised the parties to maintain status quo, and this was well clarified.”, he said.
He also said the claim by Mrs Omatseye and others, in their ex-parte application, that the issue at hand was a civil case, is not true, saying any breach of a contract terms, is purely a criminal matter.
According to him, the University had on July 16, 2022, written letter of criminal complaints through him, to the police command in Ekiti, requesting investigation, arrest and prosecution of Mrs Omatseye and the directors of the company, over alleged ‘cheating’ and ‘fraud’, on the part of the company, by allegedly selling to the University, a Toshiba (Vantage Elan) Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine 1.5 Tesla, with an already used mega compressor, knowing fully well that the MRI cannot function with an old one.
He alleged that Mrs Omatseye misinformed the University that she had delivered all software CDs to the institution, knowing fully well that she kept some with her, thereby rendering the very expensive huge equipment in question, unserviceable.
Wahab said it was on the basis of the foregoing that the police in Ekiti, on July 27, 2022, invited her, for fact finding, as requested by the institution.
He added however that, rather than honour the police invitation for mere questioning and investigation, Mrs Omatseye and her team, rushed to the court in Lagos, to halt her arrest, and other staff of the company, for the alleged breach of the said contract terms, after which a publication came out to suggest that the court asked that her arrest, and other staff be stopped.
According to him, Mrs Omatseye, operating under the name, JNCI, was introduced to the University in 2017 for the supply of sophisticated hospital equipment to the University’s Multi-System Hospital.
He said after preliminary discussions with her, in company with some members of the company, she did promise and agreed to supply to the University, a new Toshiba (Vantage Elan) Magnetic Resonance Imaging 1.5 Tesla marchine on Oct. 31, 2017, at the cost of $1,404,249.87.
” The University also awarded a contract for the supply and installation of other state-of-the-art equipment, totalling $10.3million.
” The MRI Marchine which was paid for on Oct. 31, 2017, and was commissioned in Feb. 2018, was not put into use until June 2018, due to lack of liquid belium.
” Also in Aug. 2018, which was six months later,, the MRI table was again observed to be having yet another problem.The MRI developed other serious problems, including defective circuit board and faulty cold head.”, he said.
Continuing, he said, “when the company brought it’s very own Engineer to find out what was happening to the machine, he discovered that the Toshiba Elan MRI Compressor, had a running display of 50,360 hours, equivalent to five years, eight months of usage, even though the MRI itself was manufactured in June 2017, to make only four years old.
” The findings and conclusions are that Mrs Omatseye and her company ‘fraudulently’ misrepresented to us, that the MRI they sold to us as a new one in 2017, had been in use since Nov. 2016, thereby occassioning heavy losses to the institution”.
He said inspite of all the disappointments and embarrassment casued, the University still agreed to set up a committee to find amicable resolution to the alleged breach.
He said Mrs Omatseye and her officials were present at the proceedings of the Committee, where it was concluded that she should put in place, necessary mechanism for the de-installation and decommissioning of the MRI machine within 14 days, to which she agreed, but that up till now, Mrs Omatseye and the company failed to remove the machine, thereby causing the university, heavy financial losses in millions of dollars.
He said the grouse of the University was that having awarded her company, a total of $10.3million worth of contract for the supply and installation for such state-of-the-art medical equipment, it was also part of her duty, under the agreement, to deliver to the University, all necessary software that supposed to accompany the equipment without failure.