The court case between Whiteplains British School, Jabi Abuja and First Bank Plc is far from over as First Bank appears bent in illegally taking over the property known as Whiteplains British Secondary School located at Jabi, Abuja.
During an interview with the Director of Whiteplains British School, he had the following words to explain:-
On the 16th of June, 2014, Whiteplains British School took an initial loan of N450,000,000 (four hundred and fifty million naira only) from GTBank.
Subsequently, we needed another loan of N200, 000, 000 (two hundred million naira), which GTBank appeared hesitant in giving us.
We were however approached by First Bank Nigeria Plc that they were ready and willing to help us with the loan.
First Bank paid off the initial loan of N450, 000, 000 and went further to credit our account with the sum of N200, 000, 000. All these loans are to run till June 12, 2019.”
As it stands now, First Bank Plc eager to obtain the property at all costs went the extra mile to forge a document known as tripartite mortgage.
In that tripartite mortgage, First Bank claims that Dr. L.C. Ibe, a former permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, signed as surety in the year 2014, claiming Dr. L.C. Ibe signed as surety that in the event of failure of Whiteplains British School to pay the loan, First Bank Plc can obtain ownership of the property.
Meanwhile, it is clearly on record that Dr. L.C. Ibe, the so-called surety as claimed by First Bank, died in 2013, and was in fact buried on a Friday, March 15th 2013. Can a dead man sign a document? First Bank has refused to answer this all-important question. This is no doubt a criminal act.
It might also interest the general public to know Dr. L.C. Ibe, the man whose signature was forged by First Bank plc, is the seller of the property to the management of Whiteplains British School, and therefore cannot sign a surety for property which he has already sold.
In accordance with the rule of law, the management of Whiteplains British School took the issue to court and tried to obtain a fair hearing.
At the end of the court hearing, Justice B.F.M. Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja passed judgment on the 19th of December 2016, and it states the following- the 1 and 2 questions are answered in the affirmative. Consequently I hereby order as per the reliefs sought with modifications.
Relief 1, Mr. Bola Olotu is the duly appointed receiver appointed by the 1stapplicant and can perform all the duties stated therein without being visible in the administration of the school so as not to traumatize the students.
Flowing from the above, relief 2 is granted with the modification that Mr. Bola Olotu takes over, finance activity of the school.
Relief 3 is granted with very minimal presence of uniformed policemen at the school premises. Relief 4 is granted with the emphasis that the sharing formula should be used so that the school remains open and operational with teachers and staff salaries paid.
Relief 5 is not granted. Only monies relating to the facility should be lodged with the 1st applicant account. In addition, the 1st applicant should enable the 1st respondent access to the properties used as collateral for the Guaranty Bank loan so that they can sell off same to enable them repay the loan with them.
All efforts by Whiteplains British School to appeal to the good conscience of First Bank has repeatedly failed, and the school is left with no other option than to take this matter to the doorstep of public conscience in the light that First Bank would henceforth rescind on there double standards and dishonest acts of flouting court judgments.
Moreover, on the 8th July 2018, officials of First Bank Plc came with armed policemen to erect an illegal fence across the main entrance gates of Whiteplains British secondary school. This is the extent to which First Bank Plc intends to erode the judgment of the Federal High Court.
The board, management and staff of Whiteplains British School, hereby call on First Bank to stop the total disregard of court judgments and also calls on relevant authorities to help temper justice with facts, as we continue to pledge our undying commitment to contributing to the development of Nigeria’s educational sector.
It is common knowledge that Whiteplains British School is recipient to several awards including a Special Consultative Status with the United Nations, Platinum Award for Education Development in FCT 2013, Best Secondary School 2012 by the Institute of Government Research & Development, 2010 and 2011 Teen ICT Favorite School Award, Africa Entrepreneurs Merit Award, Nigeria Entrepreneurs Award and several others.
With its background in educational forte, we remain committed to our calling and will not trade evil for evil.