A consultancy firm, Afro Euro Concerns Limited has dragged the Zamfara State Government before a Federal High Court in Abuja over the government’s alleged refusal to pay a debt sum of over N338 million owed the firm by the defendants as Consultancy fees.
In the suit marked: FHC/HC/CV/1597/17, and filed on May 5, 2017, the plaintiff named the Zamfara State Government and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Zamfara State as 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.
The court, following a writ of summons, commanded the Zamfara State Government to appear before it within Eight (8) days to answer the allegations levelled against it, warning that in the event of default, the plaintiff may proceed against therein and judgment may be given in its absence.
The firm through its counsel, Mr Casmir C. Igwe, is praying the court to make the following orders: “An Order for Immediate payment of the Sum of N338, 129, 209, 81 (Three Hundred and Thirty Eight Million, One Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Nine Naira, Eighty one Kobo only) by the Defendants to the Plaintiff being the total debt owed the Plaintiff by the defendants as Consultancy fees.
“21% interest on the judgment sum from the date of final judgment until the judgment debt is finally liquidated by the Defendants.”
In an affidavit sworn to support the writ of summons by Mr Chuks Okoko, the defendants are clients of the plaintiff and are indebted to the Plaintiff to the tune N338, 129, 209. 81 (Three Hundred and Thirty Eight Million, One Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Nine Naira, Eighty one Kobo only).
According to the affidavit, “On the 15th day of October, 2009, the Defendants notified the Plaintiff of its engagement to undertake a Consultancy services for the Defendants for the construction of ultra-modern Abattoir at Gusau International Cargo Airport for a fee of N338, 129, 209. 81, after series of meetings in Abuja and Gusau. The Defendants Notification of Consultancy services engagement is hereby attached and marked Exhibit A.
“That upon the Plaintiff’s engagement to undertake the consultancy services, the Defendants requested for payments of some money and taxes to the Defendants in order to perfect the engagements which the Plaintiff fully complied with by paying as follows:
”Demand and Payment of the sum of N170, 000. 00 to the Defendant on the 16/10/2009 for the Contract Agreement. Demand and Payment of the sum of N1, 258, 062. 00 to the Defendants on the 21/10/2009 as processing fees. Demand and Payment of the sum of N1, 690, 646. 04 to the Defendants on the 21/10/2009 as Contract Registration fees. Demand and Payment of the sum of N3, 381, 492. 98 on the 23/10/2009 as stamp duty fees
“The Plaintiff fulfilled all statutory obligations including payments of taxes, stamp duties and sundry charges to the Defendants as listed in paragraph 4 iv above and hereby attaches the various payment receipts for the payments in paragraph 4 above and marked Exhibit B, C, D and E respectively.
“That in fulfilment and compliance with the terms and conditions of the Consultancy services engagement by the Plaintiff, the Defendants through their Directorate of Livestock Development being the directorate in charge, on the 28/10/2009 requested the Payment of the consultancy fees N338, 129, 209. 81 (Three Hundred and Thirty Eight Million, One Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Nine Naira, Eighty one Kobo only) as duly approved by the Zamfara state Government Executive council meeting Annexed to the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Budget & Economic Planning in favour of the Plaintiff but to no avail. The Defendants Letter dated and received on 28/10/09 is hereby attached and marked Exhibit F and F1.
“That upon completion of the consultancy services and despite lack of release of any sum or even the 30% down payment to the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff on March 23, 2010 wrote and notified the Defendants through the office of the Honourable Special Adviser to the Governor, Ministry of Livestock Development, of the completion of the assignment and proceeded to request for release of the payment in the sum of N338, 129, 209. 81 (Three Hundred and Thirty Eight Million, One Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Nine Naira, Eighty one Kobo only). The Plaintiff’s letter of notification and demand for payment is hereby attached and marked Exhibit G.
“That despite repeated demands and promises by the Defendants to pay the Plaintiff in the 2010/2011 budgetary year, the Defendants never honoured their words and never paid the Plaintiff till date.
”Upon the expiration of the implementation of the 2010/2011 budget and no payment was made to the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff company had a meeting with the Governor at No 5 Songhai Street in Maitama being the Zamfara State Liaison office wherein the Governor demanded it should be put in writing.
“On the 18th March 2011, the Plaintiff company wrote the Executive Governor of Zamfara State and hand delivered same in Abuja demanding the payment and forwarded all the documents as requested by the Governor for their verification and payment of which the Governor upon his verification and confirmation of the debt orally pledged to effect the payment to the Plaintiff but only pleaded for time in view of the economic situation of the state. The Plaintiff’s letter is hereby attached and marked Exhibit I.
“As at date, the Defendants have not made any payment to the Plaintiff and are still indebted to the Plaintiff to the tune of N338, 129, 209. 81 (Three Hundred and Thirty Eight Million, One Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Nine Naira, Eighty one Kobo only) and still unpaid.
“The Defendants are in no way denying the indebtedness to the Plaintiff but have refused, neglected and deliberately decided not to pay the Plaintiff.
”All entreaties to amicably resolve this unpleasant development have proved abortive and in order to recover the fees, expenses and investment, we make these claims as laid out in the writ of summons,” the plaintiff said.
No date has been fixed for the hearing.