Ga East Assembly Soaked In Debts
The Ga East Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region is said to be saddled in huge debts and crawling, a development which has brought some critical projects being executed by the assembly to a temporary halt.
The situation, The Anchor is formed, has forced creditors, as well as service providers, some of who are on the heels of the assembly and its municipal chief executive (MCE), Elizabeth Kaki Mann, to pay them on time, while others have dragged them to court in a bid to retrieve their monies.
Sources told this paper, most contractors working on the assembly’s projects, including the one handling the Abokobi hospital project, and those working on the road in front of the assembly, have all not been paid, leaving the work to stall.
According to information, the failure by the assembly to settle its bills owed Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), forced the company to allegedly disconnect the power supply to the assembly on May 29, this year, until some payments were made.
But unfortunately, The Anchor has gathered, there is little to show for the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) collected, in spite of the huge revenues the assembly generates almost every day.
The MCE, in particular, is also said to be not cooperative with the assembly members, a situation which has made matters worse.
Insiders told this paper, some of the unilateral decisions by the MCE against sound advice from the assembly members not to terminate certain agreements signed by her predecessor is becoming an albatross on the neck of the assembly.
They cited, for example, a recent lawsuit by a private legal practitioner and Director of Legal Affairs of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gary Nimako Marfo.
Mr. Marfo filed a legal action against the Ga East Municipal Assembly and its MCE, Madam Elizabeth Kaki Mann, for non-payment of a staggering GH₵130,000 in outstanding legal fees.
Marfo, represented by his law firm, Marfo and Associates, has submitted a statement of claim at the High Court seeking four reliefs in the case.
He is first seeking the recovery of the GH₵130,000 outstanding legal fees. Additionally, he is requesting the court to award interest on the said amount at the commercial rate, starting from November 2021 until the final payment is made. He is also seeking damages for breach of contract and cost, including legal fees.
In support of his claims, Gary Nimako Marfo states, “Under the said retainer agreement, legal fees in respect of litigation were chargeable separately on a case-by-case basis, and that, through his law firm, he rendered legal services for the 1st Defendant from the commencement of the agreement until October 2021.”
He further explains that after Elizabeth Kaki Mann assumed office as the municipal chief executive in September 2021, she decided to terminate their engagement.
Marfo asserts that he delivered all the documents and files belonging to the Ga East Municipal Assembly to the defendants, as per the termination agreement.
The filing further states, “Plaintiff avers that after the files were released to the Defendants, the new counsel for the Defendants, Kingsley Amoakwa-Boadu Esq., called Plaintiff for his consent to continue the cases which consent was duly given.”
Regarding the outstanding fees, Marfo states, “Plaintiff avers that he subsequently submitted an invoice of One Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Fifty Ghana Cedis (GH₵130,050.00) to the Defendants as outstanding retainer and litigation fee due up to the date of termination in accordance with the Agreement.”
Despite serving a demand notice to the defendants in November 2021, requesting payment of the debt, Marfo alleges that the MCE, Elizabeth Kaki Mann, has refused or failed to honor the payment.
He quotes, “The 2nd Defendant particularly insists that she would not pay the debt owed the Plaintiff because the Retainer Agreement with the Assembly was not executed by her but by her predecessor.”
Marfo further highlights that he sent a written notice of intention to sue the defendants in August 2022, which was ignored.
He emphasizes that all attempts by certain officers of the Ga East Municipal Assembly to persuade the municipal chief executive to settle the debt have been unsuccessful.
Gary Nimako Marfo concludes that unless the court intervenes and compels the Ga East Municipal Assembly and its chief executive to fulfill their financial obligations, the outstanding legal fees will remain unpaid.
Meanwhile, The Anchor is reliably informed that, following the lawsuit, Madam Kaki Mann has now decided to eat humble pie and cough up the money, but on the blind side in order not to incur the wrath of some individuals at the assembly.