A Cape Coast Court High Court has thrown out a suit filed by the University of Cape Coast (UCC) against two construction firms — TACOA Construction Limited and Barony Company Limited — asking them to release the keys to projects executed by the firms to the university.
The contractors have refused to hand over the keys of the School of Business and a three-storey multi-purpose building for the College of Distance Education (CODE) blocks to the university authorities over its failure to pay them.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has already directed the National Council of Tertiary Education (NCTE) to investigate an alleged illegal termination of contracts awarded to two construction firms by UCC.
A letter signed by Ms. Wilhelmina Asamoah, Director of General Administration to the NCTE, following a petition to the Education Minister of the alleged illegal termination of the contracts awarded to the construction firms, said such serious allegations should be immediately investigated.
The university has refused to comply with the minister’s order but through its legal counsel, Solomon Faakye, took the contractors to court for an order to release the keys to them to get access to the buildings for the use of students.
But the court presided over by Justice Patience Mills Tetteh, after listening to the defendant’s counsel, Charles Williams Zwennes, turned down the UCC request and rather asked to refer the matter to the Attorney General for advice.
The ministry in its letter indicated that the Vice-Chancellor of the UCC, Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, had issued a note to TACOA Construction Limited to terminate all projects allegedly on the basis of submission of a fake contract for signature and asked the university to set up a panel and report on the petition within a month.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that between 2014 and 2015, UCC awarded four contracts to TACOA Construction Ltd and Barony Company Ltd which included the construction of a three-story multi-purpose building for the College of Distance Education (CODE), University of Cape Coast; construction of Regional Study Centre for the College of Continuing Education at Zuarungu in the Upper East region; construction of office block for School of Business of the University at Cape Coast and construction of three-storey Regional Study Centre at Jumapo in the Eastern Region, but the new Vice-Chancellor terminated all when he took office in 2016. Some of the buildings had been completed and already put to use.
The minister’s directive was as a result of a petition from the construction firms detailing how they were awarded the contract and how the scope of the contract continuously changed due to variation, additions and alterations made by the project supervisors.
The contractor mentioned change of timber trusses to metal, porcelain tile floor finish to terrazzo finish, replacement of central air conditioner to individual window split units, replacement of aluminum glazed windows and doors finish to louvres and flush doors, as well as changes in the design of some structural members of the building.
The Group Managing Director, Henry Tackie, the Contractor of TACOA Construction Limited, explained to DAILY GUIDE that since the new Vice-Chancellor took office, they had sidelined local contractors and now awarding contracts to only foreign contractors.
Source: Daily Guide
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