After claims and counter claims over the failure to implement a government funded road project involving millions of United States Dollars, two contractors, Paelat and the Westwood Construction Company, are to be investigated for allegedly breaching the code of conduct of the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors (ALCC).
Westwood is owned and managed by Samuel B. Cooper a Liberian, while the Paelat Construction Firm is owned and managed by Praise Tony Lawal, a Nigerian former soldier who once served in the Economic Community of West African States peace monitoring group, ECOMOG.
The two construction companies are among the 10 local companies involved in the rehabilitation of dilapidated road networks in the country and are both members of the ACCL.
The two company CEOs were also recently involved in a shooting incident in which Cooper’s vehicle was shot at and Lawal was subsequently arrested as a suspect.
The disclosure of their pending probe related to performance of road construction contracts was made to journalists in Monrovia by Foday Kamara, president of ALCC.
He said the companies’ action was a total violation of Section 1.5 of the association of contractor’s code of conduct.
The code of conduct stipulates that “ALCC through its member contractors should strive to protect the construction industry and to enhance its public stature, unethical competition should therefore be discouraged within the association.”
It further stated that contractor should not maliciously try to tarnish the reputation or business practice of another contractor hoping to gain favor with a potential client.
A member shall not offer gifts to a client or client’s representatives to gain competitive bidding edge for a project, according to the ALCC code of conduct.
Describing the two companies’ recent actions as “petty jealously,” Mr. Kamara told the press that he has instructed his board of directors and the grievance and ethics committee to begin an immediate investigation of Westwood and Paelat.
“They need to understand that we are not politicians, we are business people, and will not sit here to allow our members, especially those in the road sector, to use the media to bring the association to public disrepute.” He said the act on the part of both contractors was “unacceptable” and would not allow the issue to go without an investigation.
Mr. Kamara however chose to remain silent on the recent shooting incident that involved Mr. Cooper’s vehicle for which Praise Tony Lawal was arrested.
“I am not prepared to say anything about this issue, because officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) are conducting their investigation and doing so would not augur well for the process,” Mr. Kamara indicated when he was asked to comment on the alleged shooting incident.
Prior to the shooting incident recently, Westwood Construction Company was accused of failing to complete a US$8 million road project linking Bong and Lofa counties.
The company has denied the claim.