Crystal Group of Companies has asked Kwara State Government to pay all damages claimed in pending suit in the state high court over breach of contract on Kwara Hotel Concession.
Crystal Group via a letter issued on Monday also turned down the offer of the Kwara State Government to take over the renovation of Kwara Hotels from Craneburg Construction Company for the sum of N3 billion, saying the offer was not made in good faith.
This comes after the government breached its earlier agreement with Crystal Group by awarding the Kwara Hotels renovation which had hitherto been awarded to the company, to Craneburg for a whooping N17.8 billion.
In a letter dated 28th December, 2023, which was received by the KWSG on January 2, 2024, Crystal Group had given the state government a 7-day ultimatum to rescind its decision of awarding the contract to another company or it will proceed to court. The government, however, failed to comply with the ultimatum and only reached out to the company after a case had been filed in court in the early hours of Friday, 2nd February, 2024.
In a letter dated 31st January, 2024, but which was received by the Counsel to Crystal Group, GMO Legal, in the afternoon of Friday, 2nd February, the Kwara State Attorney General, Senior Ibrahim Sulyman ESQ, said as a show of good faith and the demonstration of Government’s commitment to probity and public good, the State Government is willing to proceed with the uncompleted Kwara Hotel process with Crystal Group.
Crystal Group, in it’s response which was delivered to the Kwara State Government on Monday, 5th February, 2024, said:
“We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 31st January 2024 on Friday 2nd of February 2024 at 2:56pm.
“Your above referenced letter purports to be a response to our letter dated 28th December 2023 which was received at the Kwara State Government House on the 2nd of January 2024. In our letter, we requested that we receive your response within 7 [seven] days of your receipt of our letter failing which we shall proceed with our Client’s instructions to seek redress in Court.
“In light of the fact that no response was received from you within the stipulated period, we proceeded to file our lawsuit against the Kwara State Government and Four Others in the morning of Friday 2nd February 2024 at the Kwara State High Court. Incidentally, it was later in the afternoon of the same day that we received your letter dated 31st January 2024.
“Our Client had duly considered the contents of your letter, which as noted above was only received well after proceedings had been commenced at the Kwara State High Court. We note the willingness of the Kwara State Government to allow our Client to proceed with the Concession Agreement which you stated was based “as a show of good faith and the demonstration of Government’s Commitment to probity and public good”.
The letter added, “Our Client notes that by all the various new conditions which you have attached to your Offer, you have effectively taken away with the left hand what you purported to give with the right hand. All the new conditions that you have given are manifestly contrary and at variance to what was previously agreed and on the basis of which our Client was selected as the Concessionaire for Kwara Hotels.
“Furthermore, and more fundamentally, a simple visit to Kwara Hotels will reveal that works are in full progress and proceeding at a frantic pace by Craneburg Construction Limited. In the light of this, one can only surmise that contrary to what was stated therein, your letter and the Offer made therein was not in good faith. Otherwise, why would you make an Offer in respect of works that is already being executed by another Contractor?
“In light of the foregoing, our Client has no other option than to decline and refuse your so called Offer and which is obviously calculated to paint our Client negatively.
“In resolving the present dispute, our Client respectfully proposes as follows:
1) That it be paid all damages claimed in the Suit pending before the Kwara State High Court.
2) That the Kwara State Government commits to expending not more than N5Billion in revamping and remodeling Kwara Hotels.
3) That the Kwara State Government re-advertise the bid and give priority to appointing a competent company owned by a Kwara State indigene to execute the Contract. Crystal Group of Companies Limited will not participate in the re-advertised bid.
“It is important to point out that the main grouse of our Client is the Government’s plan to expend the sum of N17.8 Billion on revamping Kwara Hotels despite its meagre resources. The concern is that the resources of Government should be judiciously managed and not to subject Kwara State Tax payers to unnecessary financial burden at this difficult time.
“We will respectfully urge the Honourable Attorney General to give due consideration to the foregoing and to advise his Excellency, the Governor accordingly.”