Italian Company Sues Ekiti Govt. Over N237.5m Debt

A Nigerian based Italian company, Borini Prono has dragged the Ekiti State Government of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the state before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over a debt of N237,519,250.90.
The said sum is alleged to be the balance of contract awarded to the company by the state government.
In an affidavit sworn to by the Executive Director of Borini Prono Company, Paulo Prono, and filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer, Ajibola Dalley, the respondent alleged that on the 28th of November, 2007 his company entered into a contract for the construction of the Isinbode-Iro-Federal-Iro-Irun Road, Ekiti State government for the sum of N1.58bn
The affidavit said all works under the contract were duly completed by the company, and that by a letter dated 9th of June 2009, the Director of Civil Engineering Department, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure duly requested the applicant to undertake additional and outstanding works as announced by a letter dated 19th October 2009 issued to the Ekiti State Commissioner for the Ministry of Works and Infrastructures, and for the attention of the Director of the Civil Engineering Department, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure of Ekiti State.
“On the 16th of November 2009, the chief resident engineer Mr. T. A. Adewumi and the director of engineering of Ministry of Works and Infrastructure at the time duly endorsed and certified interim certificate number 6 dated July 2009 totaling the sum of N75, 815,814.12 out of the approved sum in respect of certificate 6, there remains an outstanding sum of N25, 815,814.12.
“By letter dated 10th February, 2010, Ekiti State Government coordinating consultant, one Gbenga Aribisala, wrote to the company with instructions to install kilometer posts and road finishings and signs in preparation for commissioning by the governor of the road that has just been completed.
“Thereafter, the company issued certificate number 7 dated end of May 2010 for the sum of N83,223,061.82, despite having confirmed full completion of the contract, the Ekiti State Government or its representatives failed to endorse and certify the certificate 7 dated end of may 2010.
“Upon the concluding all outstanding works, the company articulated its demands for the settlement of the outstanding sums. However, the Ekiti State Government has without reason consistently failed to settle the outstanding sum of N109, 038, 830, 94, being the current outstanding balance.
“In clause 8 of the contract, the parties agreed that in case of any dispute or claim arising from the contract, the parties shall first be settled amicably in accordance with the provision of arbitration and conciliation,” the affidavit said.
Justice Marcellus Awokulehin (retd), Charles Adeyemi Candide Johnson (SAN) and Muhammad Dele Belgore (SAN) heard the arbitral proceeding and declared that Ekiti State Government is liable to pay Borini Prono Company N109, 038, 830, 94 and simple interest at the rate of 20% per annum being N118, 126, 127, 11 on the said sum of N109, 038, 830, 94 from October 9th 2012.
Consequently, the company is now seeking the order of the court to recognise and enforce the judgment of the duly constituted arbitral tribunal delivered on 15th April, 2018.

Author: News Editor

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