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Saturday, October 1, 2022

#Contractor Threatens Lawsuit Against Osun Governor, Oyetola Over N570m Airport Debt

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The contractor handling the construction of the MKO Abiola International Airport at Ido Osun in Osun State, JM & AS Limited, has threatened to sue the state government under Gboyega Oyetola over the N570.2m debt expended on the project.

The firm gave the state government two weeks to pay the debt following reports that the airport had been handed over to the Nigeria Air Force by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led government.

Recall that the airport project was started by the administration of Rauf Aregbesola but it was not completed throughout his eight years in office.

Oyetola in July 2022, handed over the runway and airport corridor for the commencement of the construction of Africa’s first and largest aviation city to Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

The initiative, according to the government, is a testament to the current administration’s untiring efforts to keep the dream of having an airport in Osun State alive and part of the administration’s relentless efforts to rekindle the collective hope of the citizens and stimulate the state’s economy.

However, in a letter issued by the Counsel for the firm, Mr. J. J. Usman (SAN) to the state governor, obtained on Monday, August 22, 2022, frowned on the handover which it described as a unilateral decision.

He said it was improper for the Osun State government to abandon the agreements reached with the company on the job without paying for jobs done.

The letter read, “It is instructive to note that the sum due to our client and outstanding debt has remained unpaid after several demands, leading our client to vacate the site since it became impossible for our client to continue with the work owing to the failure and refusal of the government to pay the outstanding debt.

“Our client further informed us that having served the government notices of intention to vacate the site due to government failure to pay, they indeed vacated the site sometimes in 2017.

“While our client was waiting for the government to comply with the terms of the contract by paying for Certificates Nos 4 and 5, and to enable them return to site and continue with their work, the state government has curiously and purportedly re-awarded the contract or handed-over the site to a different company other than Awol International Limited as contained in the MoU despite the subsisting of the contract of our client, which has not been terminated.

“It is our client’s instruction to us to demand and we hereby demand from you the following: The immediate payment of our client’s outstanding balance of N570,231,101.94 being the balance for the interim Certificate No. 4 and Interim Certificate No. 5 outstanding as contained in the final account.”

“And also your government to provide the enabling environment for our client to mobilise back to site as our client’s contract is still subsisting and our client is willing, able, and capable of completing the construction of the Moshood Abiola International Airport Osogbo, Osun State,” the letter said.

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