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Unfreezing Abia accounts excites civil servants, contractors

The unfreezing of Abia State accounts in about 27 banks on Thursday by an Abuja High Court has been received with joy by civil servants and contractors in the State.

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The court presided over by Justice Bello Kawu had, on March 28, granted an ex parte order freezing the accounts after an applicant, Uche Eni, approached it.

But on Thursday, the court vacated the order because the affidavit supporting the application was defective and the lifespan of the said order had expired, among other reasons.

The development has elicited celebration among civil servants in the State as their March salaries can now be paid.

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Also, in this celebration are some contractors who did one project or another for the state government but are yet to be paid.

Some civil servants who spoke to Xandertech in Umuahia expressed relief that the Abuja Court reopened the state’s accounts which they said has brightened their hopes of receiving salary alerts before the Easter celebration.

Apart from workers, some contractors who executed projects for the Abia State Government, including ongoing ones, are happy with the development.

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A contractor, who did not want his name in print, disclosed that the outgoing administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was about to pay his company for a job the company did for the State before the accounts were frozen last week.

He thanked the court for listening to the respondents’ arguments by setting aside its earlier order on the matter.

“As a contractor, after the first tranche of financial mobilisation from the organization contracting you, you can use your own money sometimes to finish a project you are handling before you receive your full payments.

“Sometimes, a contractor can borrow money from a bank or rent equipment to finish a project, and if, like in this case, money belonging to a State government or an agency is confiscated in any form, we contractors are exposed to dangers because our money will be trapped and field workers would not receive salaries,” the civil engineer told Xandertech.

He advised Abians against embarking on legal actions that may distort the general welfare of Abians.

The Abia State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Barr Eze Chikamnayo, who reacted on behalf of the state government, thanked “Abians for their patience and prayerful support”.

He alleged that Abia was facing a new wave of political turbulence sponsored by saboteurs.

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