Judge Summons CCD’s Head for Failing to Deliver Homes

A judge at the Federal High Court summoned Mesele Haile (PhD), general manager of luxury brand Country Club Developers (CCD), to explain why the company failed to deliver six housing units after losing a fierce multiyear court battle.

Mesele will appear before the Federal High Court Six Civil Bench of Lideta Division tomorrow and explain why his company did not deliver the homes to the six home buyers after the Court’s ruling.

The six home buyers initiated the case eight years ago by claiming that the company has failed to deliver the homes within the contractually stipulated 18-month schedule. They also claimed that the real estate developer terminated their agreements as they declined to sign an amended agreement with new terms and conditions.

The home buyers were asked to make an additional payment of half a million Birr due to an inflationary rise in the cost of construction materials. All 1,000 homebuyers, except the current judgment creditors, refused to make the increased payment.

The six homebuyers bought the homes in Legatafo, 11Km northeast of the capital, between 2006 and 2007 within a range of 1.7 million Br to 3.1 million Br. The developer had leased 70ha of land for 99 years at a cost of 0.7 Br a square metre.

The management of the real estate firm canceled the contracts of the six buyers following their refusal to settle the increased payments and took the case to the Federal High Court.

The first trial concluded in a victory for the plaintifs when the court ordered the developer to transfer the houses to the home buyers according to the terms and conditions in the initial contract.

CCD then appealed to the Supreme Court, where the ruling of the lower court was sustained. CCD then took the case to the Court of Cassation that favoured the home buyers by ordering CCD to deliver the houses to the home buyers with no price adjustment.

After the two parties exhausted their case in the court system, the six home buyers went to the Execution Court to enforce the judgment in July 2016.

The two started litigation at the Execution Court, where the developer requested an additional 16 months to finalise and deliver the homes. The Court gave the company, established in 2002 with a registered capital of 20 million Br, a deadline of November 2017 to hand over the houses to the judgment creditors.

Last month, the judgment creditors initiated the case once again at the Federal High Court, asserting that the company has failed to finalise and equip the houses with kitchen taps, exhaust hoods, boilers, gates and water and electric utilities.

In their petition, the creditors appealed to the Court to summon Melese and order him to deliver the houses. They also requested that the judges order the company to pay them 1.8 million Br as compensation for rent expenses during the period beginning with the latest delivery date. Their third request to the court was to order the company to transfer the title deed of the homes to them.

During the hearing held early last week, the two lawyers of the company told the judges that the company was challenged to deliver the houses due to the forex crunch and the political unrest that happened in the country in recent years.

After the hearing, the judge summoned Mesele to appear in court and explain why the company delayed the delivery and adjourned the case to January 14, 2019.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 12,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 976]

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