Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe
By Akinwale Akintunde
The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe has sued the Benue State Government over allegations of fraud made against him and his company, Value Trust Investment Limited by the government.
Okupe in the suit filed by his lawyer, Festus Keyamo at the Benue State High Court, Makurdi is seeking an order of the court, compelling the defendants to pay him N358, 762, 934.90, "being amount for work already completed pursuant to the contract entered between them."
The presidential adviser also wants the court to order the payment of interest on the sum at the rate of 21 per cent per annum from 18th of June, 2007 (when the amount became due to the Plaintiff) "till judgement is entered and subsequently at the rate of 10 per cent per annum till the sum is finally liquidated."
The SSA averred that the Benue State Government under the leadership of former governor, George Akume, in 2004 awarded a contract to Value Trust Investment Limited, for the construction of rural roads using a product known as Romix Soil Stabilizer.
He stated that the contract was duly executed in favour of his company on April 21, 2004.
Amongst other prayers, he also wants the court to declare that "the plaintiff is entitled to a review of the contract agreement dated 21st of April, 2004 (with all its subsequent amendments) from N2, 303, 561, 032.50 to N6, 634, 033, 255.50.
He also wants payment made for damages "in the sum of N5, 000, 000, 000.00 against the defendants and in favour of the plaintiff for breach of contract."
According to the suit, "The plaintiff avers that it applied to the defendant for approval to enable the plaintiff appoint additional sub-contractors."
On the 16th of December, 2006, "the plaintiff again applied to the defendant, for its approval to disengage the sub-contractors appointed by the defendants because the sub-contractors failed to meet the terms of the agreement, thereby causing delay in the execution of the contract."
The plaintiff further said that the defendants refused to approve the application as contained in the letter dated 16th December, 2006 "even though the main reason behind the plaintiff’s application was due to the delay and poor performance of work by the sub-contractors appointed for the plaintiff by the defendants."
The plaintiff said the refusal of the defendants was contained in a letter dated 9th January 2007.
It would be recalled that the Benue State Government had last month accused Okupe and his firm of not executing the road contract after collecting mobilisation fees.