After two years in exile and a month since his release on bail from custody, Ermias T.Amelga has broken his silence. He apologised to homebuyers, taking full responsibility for the mishaps at Access Real Estate (ARE).
“I may have many excuses, good or bad, and many unexpected events may have contributed, but at the end of the day, someone has to take responsibility, and I do,” reads Ermias’ testimonial letter.
This six-page letter was circulated through email to homebuyers and others involved in the process.
The letter also tells his version of the story, for the first time, particularly in public fora. The narration includes policy-level obstacles, such as citywide “no work orders” on leased land.
Col. Abraha Alemayehu, the current CEO of ARE, is apparently behind the whole mess, with failures that led to Ermias’ arrest, which he called unfortunate. A homebuyers’ association chairman is also identified as an accomplice in the entanglement of ARE.
Ermias claimed that he had been close to concluding a deal with a Chinese company, but that it had failed to materialise.
He focuses his blame at Abraha, whose appointment as the CEO of Access came after Ermias had single-handedly selected him.
Ermias, in the same letter, wrote that the management and the board had agreed not to sign documents.
This claim, however, was countered by Abraha, who said that Ermias had tried to convince him to sign documents related to transactions for the Gabi Real Estate and the old Imperial Hotel without the knowledge of the board.
Nuredien Mohammed, general manager of Alle Bejimela, and chairman of the technical committee organised to resolve the stalemate at ARE, declined to comment on the issue.
In his last statement, Ermias expressed his intention to still maintain an involvement in the process.
“I stand ready to make all the needed sacrifices to achieve our mutual objectives,” he stated.
ARE is now under an audit process by the government, which has almost been completed. It is said that the report is to be announced soon.