Tension is brewing at the University of Cape Coast over attempts by the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, to commission two projects which the school hasn’t yet paid for, before his exit from office.
This decision has generated heated tension between him, the university and the contractor who worked on the projects.
The contractor and the UCC Authorities are battling over the payment of the contract which involved the construction of three-storey regional study centre at Zuarungu in the Upper East Region; the construction of a three-storey multi-purpose building at Cape Coast campus for the College of Distance Education (CoDE); the construction of a three-storey regional study centre for CoDE at Jumapo in the Eastern Region and the construction of office block for the School of Business in Cape Coast at the law court over the failure of the UCC to settle the contractors.
The contractor has been accused by the UC Authorities for fraudulently procuring the contracts with fake documents, due to that he (Contractor) hasn’t been paid for the work done for the past four years.
He sent the matter to the law court to clear his image on the alleged accusations and also to retrieve his money.
A source close to the Contractor who hinted the case is expected to be heard on 28th August 2020 at the Cape Coast High Court.
According to the source, the contractor is not happy when he chanced on a letter announcing the date of the commissioning of the two completed projects which he the university hasn’t paid for.
Mr Henry Tackie, Managing Director of the construction company earlier reportedly started over forty-five (45) years ago, some individuals of the university, allegedly being led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah have continuously dragged his enviable reputation in the mud with such spurious and ill-motivated allegations without any proof.
The UCC Authorities then reported him to the Cape Coast Police, which he was invited for questioning.
He noted further that he was not arrested by the Central Regional police command but that he was invited to following a malicious report by the University of Cape Coast that “I had presented fake documents to secure contracts from the University in 2014 after he had filed a contempt case against the Vice-Chancellor and two others”.
He said since then, he has not heard anything from the Central Regional Police Command or any other police station regarding the issue.
Mr Tackie explained that he secured four separate contracts from the UCC with genuine documents which had been completed and “we’re waiting to be paid but the university authorities failed to settle him for unknown reasons”.
He said before signing the contracts, his company was requested to present a performance bond and advance payment guarantee so “we relied on an agent for his services which were backed by payment receipts. Mostly the bonds are issued to confirm with the duration of the contract. But in our case, the bonds had expired because the contracts have exceeded its two years tenure.”
According to the contractor, “In early April 2019, the university under the outgoing Vice-Chancellor Prof. Joseph Gartey Ampiah wrote a letter to my company notifying us of alleged fake bond and gave us a period of seven (7) days to respond to which my lawyers responded within two(2) days with copies of receipts of payments from the agent. But we later realised that the agent was not honest and immediately lodged a complaint at the Police for his arrest and prosecution. The police went to court and secured a bench warrant for his arrest and are currently looking for him”.
However, out of the four contracts, two have been fully completed and advance payment duly paid by us.
“The two others are ongoing and are at various stages of completion. The construction of three-storey regional study centre at Zuarungu in the Upper East Region is seventy per cent (70%) complete and the construction of a three-storey regional study centre for CoDE at Jumapo in the Eastern Region is thirty per cent (40%) complete,” he said.
The Outgoing Vice-Chancellor of UCC, Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, on the assumption of office, issued a note to TACOA Construction Limited to terminate all projects on the basis of alleged submission of a fake contract for signature and asked the university to set up a panel and report on the petition within a month.
Henry Tackie, on his part, petitioned the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who directed the National Council of Tertiary Education (NCTE) to investigate the alleged illegal termination of contracts by the UCC.
But the university allegedly refused to comply with the minister’s order and rather through its counsel, Solomon Faakye, took him to the Cape Coast High Court for an order to release the keys to them to get access to the buildings for the use of students even though the university claimed the contracts were secured illegally.
The case has since been adjourned to 28th August 2020.