A Federal High Court in Abuja is to begin hearing in a suit in which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Ahmadu Ali, the Director-General of its Presidential Campaign Organization; as well as Senator Nenadi Usman, former Minister of Finance and Director of Finance of the President Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organization, are alleged to have refused to pay for services rendered by a company commissioned to broadcast a campaign message for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan before last March’s presidential election.
The company, Silon Concepts Limited, in a suit filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) alleged that the party and those officials owe to it an outstanding N70 million, the balance for a campaign contract awarded to it by the PDP presidential campaign organization.
The company stated that it was engaged to provide “voice SMS campaign broadcast,” of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign message which it sent to eligible voters on behalf of the PDP presidential candidate before the presidential poll.
Silon Concepts, represented by Festus Keyamo Chambers stated that the defendants were unwilling to pay the N70m balance of the N100m contract sum, which the PDP PCO committed in writing to pay.
It urged the court to compel the defendants to pay the outstanding sum of N70m, and N15m as the cost of the suit, plus an annual interest rate of 10 per cent on the sum of N70m until the said sum is fully liquidated.
Silon, in its originating processes, claimed that it was commissioned by the PDP, through the PDP PCO, and that it agreed to pay it N100m as seed money to kick start a contract to send ‘Voice SMS campaign broadcast’ to eligible voters as part of the campaign for the party’s presidential candidate. It claimed that it successfully executed the project with continued assurance from the defendants that the balance would be made available without delay.
It declared that contrary to the contract terms, the PDP only paid N20m as initial payment instead of the seed money of N100m to kick start the project, and that the ex-Finance Minister, Senator Usman paid the N20m through a Zenith bank check in the name of a company, Jointrust Dimension Nigeria Limited with account number 1010740698, for which Senator Usman serves as the sole signatory.
The plaintiff further stated that the PDP had agreed to pay the full balance for the contract to it before the election under the terms of the contract between the parties dated March 5, 2015. It added that following consistent demand for payment and meetings with other directors of PDP PCO, the PDP only issued a check of N10m to Silon on May 19, 2015, leaving a balance of N70m it promised to pay within a few days from that time.
According to Silon, since that time, Senator Nenadi Usman and her colleagues in the PDPPCO have disappeared without paying the debt, despite an additional demand letter written on behalf of the plaintiff by Festus Keyamo Chambers to the defendants on 25th May 2015.
A statement by Bala I. Dakum of the Festus Keyamo Chambers noted that the defendants were served with the writs of summons on 16th June by the court bailiff. The matter, which the Chief Judge allotted to Court 37, is scheduled to come up for mention on July 6.