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Pacific Link Ethiopia Real estate and Access Real Estate (ARE) were taken to court by 137 clients who accuse the companies of negligence in delivering the houses they paid for and want them to pay 76 million birr for losses incurred. They are also seeking the termination of their contracts. The plaintiffs accused Nebiyu Samuel and Ermiyas Amelga, the CEOs of Pacific Link and Access, respectively, stating that they extensively contributed to the cause of the delay.
In a joint venture, Access and Pacific Link Real Estates made contractual agreements with the plaintiffs to begin construction within two months and deliver the houses within 14 months. The companies had leased 50,000 square meters of land in the Yeka district to construct the houses, Ayat East View project. The contract indicates that, if the companies failed to deliver the houses within the prescribed time period, they agree to pay 15 percent interest or 5,000 birr. Pacific Link is a subsidiary of Access, like Meri Real Estate.
According to filed documents from the court, the plaintiffs bought different types of houses from the companies and paid varying amounts of money. Enatu Belay Tegene paid the highest amount at 4 million birr.
Before deciding to use legal recourse, the plaintiffs gave notice to the companies at different times, according to the documents. The 76 million birr, which plaintiffs claim from the defendants, includes 73.4 million birr the companies collected from them, with 9 percent interest. The plaintiffs did not include the 15 percent interest or 5,000 birr the companies had agreed to pay them in case of default as penalty, and have asked the court to guarantee them the right for further appeal in the future to claim the agreed upon penalty. “It is because we do not have sufficient money to pay court fees that we are asking such a guarantee.” states the statement on claims.
Plaintiffs paid around 736,000 birr in court fees for the current case. The plaintiffs hired two attorneys, Nesibu Chaka and Sisay Tefera, to represent them before the court. All the plaintiffs attached the contract and documents attesting to the amount they paid to the companies with their claims and charge, which are 365 pages long.
The plaintiffs accused the companies with summary procedure, stating all the testimonials in the statement of the claims are facts that the defendants cannot deny.
It is not the first time that Access Real Estate was brought before the court for failing to deliver on contracts. Other plaintiffs jointly and or individually such as Seble Reta have appealed to the court for the delivery of their houses or reimbursement of their money with interest.
Early last week, Judge Hussien Yimer of the Federal High Court, Lideta Branch Eighth Civil Bench, ordered the defendants to respond to the charge within ten days, otherwise the Court will give a ruling in their absence.