Company moves to auction Regent University building over debt

Company moves to auction Regent University building over debt

A construction firm, Obokom Civil Engineering Limited, has initiated action to auction a multi-purpose six-storey building and other items of the Regent University College of Science and Technology in Accra to settle the university's indebtedness to the company.

The other items are a generating set, a Tata bus and two four-wheel vehicles.

Last Wednesday, court bailiffs posted auction notices on the building and the items.

Besides, the company took away two four-wheel drive vehicles from the university.

University owes

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the firm, Nana Obokomatta IX, told journalists yesterday that the university owed the company $1.2 million and GH¢2.1 million for the construction of the six-storey building which accommodates the university.

He said the auctioning of the property should not have happened, since the university was given enough time to pay back the money owed the company.

“Indeed, we entered into a contract with Regent University to build the six-storey edifice. We were supposed to build the edifice and give the university one-year grace period to pay, which we did.

“So it was supposed to pay on April 17, 2018, and immediately the time was due, we requested for payment,” he explained.

Nana Obokomatta said in the course of the construction works, the firm was given assurances that immediately the works were completed, payment would be effected.

Grace period

He explained that when the Regent University failed to honour its part of the agreement, Obokom Civil Engineering Limited pursued the matter to the High Court and won the case.

“After winning the case, the university was given a payment plan, which we all agreed to. As we speak now, it has made only one payment,” he said.

Nana Obokomatta, who is the Chief of Gomoa Dasum in the Central Region, noted that although the university was given enough time to pay back, the company realised that it was not paying, “so we went back to the court, which granted us an order to execute, and that is why we are here”.

He said the firm would go back to the court for it to grant it the authority to value the property to see whether it matched up to the amount involved.

“When the valuation is done, we will know the actual cost. I see that what the university is doing is intentional; if the management comes back to us to make payment, they will be welcomed,” he added.

University’s reaction

Reacting to the company’s action, the university said the action was premature, since a payment plan had been reached between the two parties.

The acting Registrar of the university, Mr Benjamin Zogbetor, told the press yesterday that the university had a payment plan and “we have started payment, but because of the dwindling number of students, the arrangement did not go through as desired and so we are in the process of re-negotiating with him on the payment”.

He expressed the hope that the matter would be settled amicably, saying that “the court order does not mean that the school was closed down”.