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Controversy Over Contract: Ex-NDC MP Before Court

By Chronicle

Mr. Francis Adu-Poku, defeated NDC MP of Asunafo South in the Brong Ahafo Region and Managing Director of Franadup Company Limited, will appear before an Accra High Court this Friday for allegedly failing to pay Sumini Boama Company, a construction firm in Tamale the cost of a project he contracted them to undertake, but has failed to pay for.

The plaintiffs are demanding ¢88.286 million as the value of work done and damages from the former MP who contracted them for the job after his company collected an initial sum of ¢55 million as mobilization fees from the Ministry of Education for the same job.

The former MP failed to execute the contract after he won the bid from the ministry.

The defendant has challenged the plaintiff's assertion, arguing that they are not entitled to any claim.

In his statement of claim, the company's manager, Mr. Abu Masahudu, stated that on March 3, 2000, Adu-Poku, who had won the contract to build a school block, teachers flat, KVIP and a library at Zabzugu in the Tatale district, subletted the construction of the school block to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff stated that under an agreement between the two companies, the defendant agreed to bear responsibility for all financial obligations due the plaintiff from the mobilization fees collected by him.

According to the plaintiff, while construction was going on and had reached lentil level, they were informed that the contract had been terminated and that the former Asunafo South MP, knew of it but refused to convey the message to plaintiff.

The defendant also failed to pay anything out of the mobilization fee of ¢55,468,983 to the plaintiff company as agreed on.

Following this new development, the defendant contracted valuers to assess and value the work done by plaintiff and they put the value at ¢88,282,608.

He said on August 16, 2000, a team from the district level of the Ministry of Education was mandated to inspect the project and confirmed the value.

But according to the plaintiff, despite the valuation report and demand by him for payment of the work undertaken, the defendant has rather refused to pay them in blatant disregard to the contract between them.

But while the former MP has admitted subletting the contract to the plaintiff, he claimed that it was two pastors who first approached him with the plaintiff to express interest in the contract, which was eventually subletted conditionally.

He also admitted that he collected the mobilisation fees but stated that the plaintiff was made aware that part of the money had been used to purchase some materials for the project.

He denied ever agreeing that his company would negotiate all financial obligations due the plaintiff and pay them accordingly from the mobilisation fees collected by him.

He also admitted that the plaintiff did begin work on the project after the initial agreement, but denied that the project reached lentil level.

According to him, the project reached window level at the time the contract was terminated, and he promptly informed the plaintiff about the termination.

He claimed that it was the unnecessary delays caused by the plaintiff that led to the contract being terminated, adding that this led to great financial loss to his company which has now been surcharged with ¢109,914,838.25 by the Fund Procurement and Management Unit of the Ministry of Education, which originally awarded the contract to him.

In reaction to the valuers' assessment of the value of work done, the defendant stated that it was the plaintiff's own agents who did the valuation, and that the consultants accepted ¢ 45,410,410.15 as the value of the work done.