Ghana@50 owes me $240,000 – Hotelier
Mr Joe Ofori, Managing Director of Larguss Fort Hotel Limited in Accra, on Tuesday stated that the Ghana@50 Secretariat owed him $240,000 for renting his hotel for two years.
He said the Secretariat also caused a lot of damage to facilities in the Hotel in addition to its refusal to pay for water, electricity and other services that were provided during the period of occupation.
Mr Ofori, who was testifying before the three-member Presidential Enquiry Commission on activities and celebrations of Ghana@50, said on January 16, 2007, his outfit signed a contract with the Secretariat to rent his Hotel for two years.
He said under the agreement, the Ghana@50 Secretariat was to pay a total of $720,000 for the two years, beginning from February 2007 to February 2009.
Mr Ofori said the Secretariat under the agreements also compelled him to fix air conditioners, king size beds, fridges, television sets and internet facilities in all the 106 bedrooms of the Hotel.
The Managing Director, who is also a legal practitioner, said the Secretariat honoured the first year’s payment of $360,000 and part payment of $120,000 for the second year, after which all other payments were stalled leaving a balance of $240,000.
Mr Ofori claimed that their refusal to pay him the rest of the money was based on sheer wickedness, as he claimed that the Secretariat made a lot of profits under the management of United African Management Limited.
Mr Akoto Ampaw, Counsel for Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey, former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana@50, in a cross-examination, stated that the Secretariat had failed to honour their contractual agreements because the Managing Director had entered into an agreement, discussions and negotiations with other prospective buyers when their agreement had not expired.
Mr Ampaw also accused the Managing Director of writing to the Secretariat to pay the hotel licence fees and services provided in the hotel, which was not part of the initial agreement they had signed.
He provided documents to the Commission claiming that the Secretariat failed to honour all the agreements because of the level of double standards displayed by Mr. Ofori during the contract period.