Justice M.L Sule of an Oyo state high court sitting at Iyaganku, Ibadan has fixed definitive hearing in a six years old suit bordering on N90m loan recovery between the Sunshine De Gold Nursery and Primary school and Diamond Bank Plc to April 11, 2018.
In the six years that the case had been on, there had been no hearing as the bank alleged before the court that the claimant asked for out of court settlement but hadn’t been forthcoming and had refused to file a defense in the matter for over four years.
The original facility granted was pegged at N90 m during negotiation and after a proposal was made, the bank conceded that they should pay N70m out of the N90m but the school only paid N20m and stopped until the window of opportunity agreed for payment had lapsed. The inability of the school to fulfill the agreement sent the case back to court.
But due to the absence of the claimant’s witness, Justice Sule adjourned till April 11 and awarded a cost of N5000 against the school.
When the case was called up, counsel to Sunshine De Gold Nursery and Primary school, the claimant, Adeola F. owolabi, informed the court that the case was for definitive hearing as settlement had broken down but informed the court that she will be asking for an adjournment as they couldn’t reach their witness.
She added that before settlement broke down, the school had paid N20m out of the N90m before the time agreed for the entire payment lapsed. But counsel to Diamond Bank, Ayo Faleti, had opposed Been adjournment application on the ground that in the six years that the case had been on, the claimants had been ensuring it didn’t move on through series of adjournments and had applied for a cost of N30, 000 if the court will grant the claimant’s application.
The matter is the fallout of a loan facility accessed by the school from Diamond Bank and guaranteed by the proprietress of the school but the school defaulted and when the bank tried to recover the loan, it filed an application before the court to stop the process. The bank filed its defense and counter claimed their application to demand for the money and joined the person that gave his property as collateral for the loan as co-defendant
During the last hearing of the matter on December 13, 2016, legal counsel to the school, had informed the court that his client wanted to seek an amicable resolution to the matter, adding that to show their good faith in pursuing settlement, he has handed a N10m postdated cheque with a presentation date of dated December 31, 2016 to Diamond Bank’s counsel with an undertaken to send another N10m cheque in February, 2017 and also offer a further N30m at a later date.
Faleti had informed the court then that he was not opposing amicable resolution provided that the claimant is serious about the settlement because the case is not a new one, having been filed in 2013 and it is not the first time that the issue of settlement will come up.
The school had dragged Diamond Bank to court when the bank tried to recover a N90 loan facility given to the school on the ground that the terms and conditions attached to the facility were not acceptable to its board but the bank had filed a counter claim to which the school had no defense.
Diamond bank in its counter claim stated that at the time the facility was granted, it was agreed that it will be for 36 months while it will be paid with the school fees of students paid into a dedicated account, adding that the school board was aware and comfortable with all terms and conditions as proved in its resolution letter of May 5, 2012.
The bank stated further that it later discovered that the students’ school fees were not being paid into the account to service the loan as agreed but was being diverted by the school’s proprietress, Mrs. Taiwo Arowobusoye, to settle her other obligations in other banks and series of demands for payments made yielded no result.
Diamond bank asked for a declaration of court that by virtue of the Deed of Legal Mortgage executed between the bank and the school, it has the power to foreclose the mortgage and exercise a power of sale by selling the property and a declaration that the school should pay the bank the sum of N113, 013, 317.58k being the sum jointly and severally owned by the school and proprietress.