Friday, April 10th 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: This afternoon, sculptor Stephen Okeke told us via text message that he is taking the Thomas Vincent Ramos Foundation and director Ivan Ramos to court to recover the remainder of the $35,000 he is owed for the bust of the great Garifuna leader and founder of Garifuna Settlement Day. Okeke built the bust and after a prior deal fell through he reached an agreement with the Foundation for the purchase of the bust, which now resides in Dangriga. But Okeke, who is suffering from a bowel-related disease and needs money for surgery, says he has been waiting too long to get what he is owed.
He told us, quote, “It is obvious that Ivan Ramos, the elected area representative of Dangriga and sitting member of the honorable House of Representatives for [the] PUP does not intend to honor a legally binding payment contract agreement for the sculpture of TV Ramos in his possession [and] has refused to show interest in any form of communication or negotiation.”
He goes on to say that he is, quote, “fed up with their threats not to pay [and] will no longer depend on their goodwill to pay. So [I] am handing collection services to the attorneys at Associated Legal Services for collection and further legal action on the delinquent.”
According to Okeke he has written on Facebook about his disappointment with the PUP for being unwilling to, in his words, “rein in a candidate seeking reelection,” referring to Ramos. He says he wrote to party leader Francis Fonseca in February seeking his intervention but apparently got no response. We understand that he also approached other persons to intervene without success. We will keep following the story.
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