Blows Over Freddie Blay Buses
The cacophony that had engulfed the political terrain since 2018 over some 275 buses promised the constituency chairmen of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) by the national chairman, Frederick Worsemao Armah Blay, is far from over.
This is because, apart from an ongoing ‘battle’ at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over the buses following a petition by the Coalition for Social Justice for investigation into the procurement of the vehicles, a private company is at the throat of the Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) over the ownership of the first consignment (one hundred) of the buses that have arrived in the country, so far.
The company, Kelliot Royal Motors, has dragged UMB to an Accra High Court in a bid to block the distribution of the 100 buses, which form part of the 275 vehicles Mr. Blay promised the constituencies prior to his election as chairman last year.
According to a writ sighted by THE NEW PUBLISHER, Kelliot Royal Motors avers that in May, 2018, it secured a loan facility in excess of $3 million to procure the buses for onward sale to the NPP.
According to the writ, the terms of agreement was that the 100 Toyota HiAce vehicles was part importation for a total contract sum of $11,412,500 for 275 buses, and that repayment of the facility was to be made out of proceeds from off-taker of the buses.
Kelliot Royal Motors further avers that in pursuance of the agreement, its Managing Director, Chris Azawodie, personally travelled to Dubai on many occasions with the attendant costs to actualise the objective of the supply of the said buses.
The writ further stated that, when the buses finally arrived in Ghana, UMB caused the vehicles to be kept in a Custom Bonded Warehouse, but had since refused to deliver them to Kelliot Motors, contrary to the express terms of the agreement.
“It is believed from reliable information that the Defendant is in the process vigorously and aggressively to offload the said buses to a third party who is alien to the agreement and in consequence denying the Plaintiff his right to receive the buses as contemplated by and contained in the said agreement,” Kelliot Royal Motors said in its Statement of Claim.
The Plaintiff states that unless compelled by a court of competent jurisdiction, UMB intends to continue the breach of the agreement “which breach will deny the Plaintiff the benefits envisaged in the said agreement,”, and wants the court to declare that the 100 buses are the property of Kelliot Royal Motors.
Kelliot Royal Motors also wants the court to restrain UMB, its agencies, servants and assigns and all those at its direction dealing with a third party in respect of the buses.
In a related development, CHRAJ is yet to begin hearing in the case filed by the Coalition for Social Justice to CHRAJ, over the 275 buses, alleging that the purchase amounted to vote-buying and thus constituted a case of corruption, which must be probed.