… Says 70 Percent of Cars Supplied Have Broken Down
By Sunny A Ijomah
The Imo State Government has reacted to claims by Innoson Motors that the state owes him to the tune of N2.5 billion over various brands of vehicles supplied the state government in April this year.
It will be recalled that Innoson Motors had dragged the Imo State Government and Governor Hope Uzodinma to court to reclaim the vehicles’ purchased sum which they claimed the government had refused to pay or service its interest.
But in a reaction, the state government described as distasteful and cheap blackmail, the claim by Innoson Motors, saying that the company had actually been paid N3.5b out of N5 billion being the actual cost of the vehicles it supplied to it some months ago.
The state government insisted that the company’s claims were half truths intended to impugn the integrity of the state government for ulterior motives.
Reacting to a threat by the company about filing a lawsuit to recover over N2.5B debt owed it by the Imo State Government, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Declan Emelumba, deplored the manner the company was going about the recovery of the said debt.
The commissioner said the truth was that the Imo State Government bought vehicles worth over N5b from Innoson Motors and had so far paid them N3.5b.
According to him, contrary to the claim of Innoson Motors, the said N2.5b was actually the balance due from the original value of the purchase. He regretted that Innoson Motors, for reasons best known to them, decided to hide this fact from the public.
Hon. Emelumba insisted that the total value of the vehicles supplied was in excess of N5b and that the government had been servicing the debt since then.
He said the Management of Innoson Motors was actually the one that breached the contractual agreement with the state government regarding the sale and maintenance of the vehicles.
According to him, there was a clause in the purchase agreement stipulating the siting of a maintenance workshop in Owerri and a mobile workshop as well by Innoson Motors for the maintenance of the vehicles.
He noted that in spite of the fact that the company breached this agreement, the state government had been servicing the debt and still maintaining the vehicles, disclosing that more than 70% of the vehicles had already broken down.
He said both the threat by the company and its resort to media trial of the government were in bad faith.
‘It appears the company is out to rubbish the integrity of the government; otherwise it would not have twisted the facts of the case and published same concerning this honest business transaction, even when it failed to show the public the terms of the contract and the clauses the government breached therein. The whole thing smacks of mischief and bad faith,’ Hon. Emelumba added.
He also regretted that Innoson Motors had not actually exhausted all means of negotiation before threatening the government with a law suit.
He said: ‘The mischievous resort to media trial has confirmed that the company is more interested in compromising the integrity of the government rather than being paid its outstanding balance from the contract sum.’
The commissioner disclosed that although no court process had been served it, the government would meet the company in court as soon as a process was served.