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EXCLUSIVE: Delta Poly Rector Clarifies N15 million Debt, Death Of Deceased Contractor

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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Contrary to reports that Mr. Chukwuedo Iwelu, a contractor with the Delta state Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, who was found dead in one of the structures constructed by him in the school premises was purportedly murdered by unknown assailants and is being owed N15 million, the management of the institution said the reports are the figment of unscrupulous elements, fallacy, unfounded and has no basis.

Speaking Tuesday with The Nigerian voice, the rector, Prof. Stella Chiemeke, also debunked reports that the said judgment reportedly given to the deceased by the court is nothing but misinformation of the general public, insisting that the matter is still in court.

Prof. Chiemeke, who spoke through the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Manfred Oyibogbeye, disclosed that late Iwelu, runs an establishment known as Printmax, a company that prints Identity cards for students, which failed to remit about N30 million to the school, a debt he said the institution wrote off after a Committee setup to probe the project gave its report.

Hear her: “It got to a point, he prefers having his own apartment; block, so to say. So, the agreement is that he will build an office, operate and later transfer but when it got to a time a Pharaoh who doesn’t know Joseph, came into office. And so that contract ran out. I am aware he tried everything he can to renew it but unfortunately, it didn’t work.

“But when the new rector came in, there were lots of rumour and gossiping that made the authority to setup a Committee to probe that project all together and at the end among other things, the Committee reported that the contract was abused, it was not properly executed and that even led to the school losing some good sums of money. So, this report which now means Printmax is supposed to refund money back to the school actually further biased the minds of management to totally stop that contract.

“So, when this report came in, management said no. How do we even recover our money? And to be honest with you, that Committee also reported that this may likely be a bad debt looking at the sums of money involved. It was this same contractor, Iwelu Chukwuedo, popularly called Prince, who also came to plead with the authority when he was asked to make a refund that business has not actually been good for him. How do they expect him to pay back those huge sums of money? If my memory could serve me right, we are talking about the sum of over N30 million”.

She said after much plea and lobbying from the deceased, the school authority heeded to the recommendation of the Committee amidst late Iwelu, making demands on the structure he constructed, noting that the building makes no meaning to the school as it would not be able to serve as a classroom nor an office, saying that the deceased also suggested that he would want to sell the building to the school.

According to him, “It was him who brought external valuers to value the project and the equipment inside and they value it at N6 million. So, that agreement was reached, we will pay you N6 million and we will take over the property which he accepted. They paid him N3 million first payment to submit the key but instead of submitting, he collected the payment of N3 million, submit the key, then the problem started. He refused to submit the key instead he went to court that the school is owing him, as we speak the matter is still in court”.

She said the late Iwelu, made efforts to renegotiate, “and in coming to renegotiate, he failed to involved all the parties that were involved initially and the authority told him that the matter is still in court. If you want that matter that is still in court to be settled, first go and withdraw that matter. That was the last we held with him”, disclosing that his move to meet with the rector was not favourable to her as she was engaged with the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), assignment in another state.

On what possibly killed Iwelu, she said: “Between that Thursday and Friday, actually the autopsy report that came said it is cardiac arrest and the police was also able to find out that the young man has this medical history of high blood pressure”.

But contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Adeyinka Adeleke told newsmen that the autopsy report has not come out at the time of filing in this report.