By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
An indigenous firm, ENL Consortium Limited, has threatened Oyo State Governor Mr Seyi Makinde with a court action over an allegation that the investor jerked up a road project cost from N14B to N67B.
The Abuja based investor issued a seven-day ultimatum to Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde to retract the alleged malicious allegations or be prepared for a court action to seek redress.
The firm said the remarks of the governor that the road concession was jerked up from N14bn to N67bn and that N11bn was earmarked for bush clearing were attempts to damage its hard-earned reputation and scare financiers away from the project.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Chairman of ENL, Prince Clement Haastrup, said the governor’s claim that bush cutting alone was done for N11bn was a total falsehood.
He said he had been under pressure from families and friends to clear his name as he did not want to be derided as one of those that messed up the country.
He said, “This clearly exhibits the malicious intent in your press release. From our Bills of Quantifies, bush cutting is N750.58m. But as if playing politics with governance, you deliberately quoted N11bn as the cost of bush clearing, whereas it was clearly stated that the N11bn covered a combination of 10 items for Bush clearing and all earthworks for the entire 32km.’
The former Osun Deputy Governor said the firm competitively bid with two other Chinese firms for the contract before it was awarded the concession.
He added, “It is also pertinent to note that while we quoted N67b, two other Chinese construction firms quoted N70bn and N82.5bn.
“By his utterances he has dented my integrity and the business name of ENL Consortium Ltd and made the project a high political risk, which would amount to a default on government side if the financiers that were ready to fund the project choose to back out.
“It is therefore in the interest of Oyo state that you let us sit down together with mutual respect to clear the air on your misconceptions and also ensure that you send the right signal to our financiers.”
The ENL threatened to drag the state government to the Court of Arbitration in London if the contract was revoked.
“Finally, if you cross-check your records, and compare them with mine then you will concede that your press release was damaging, I demand a rebuttal and an open apology within seven days from your government,” he added.
“Should you refuse to tender public apology on your damaging and malicious statement against my person and the ENL LTD within seven days, I will be left with no option than to seek redress in court to clear my image and that of the ENL”, Haastrup threatened.