Henry Omunu, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Central Bank, First Bank and other parties to submit all relevant documents relating to the alleged forgery of N630 million loan documents between the Whiteplain British School, Abuja and First Bank.
Chairman of the House Committee, Rep. Uzoma Nkem Abonta, who issued the ultimatum, said that all parties to the loan dispute between the First Bank and the school’s management should avail the committee all necessary documents that will it unravel the truth behind the forgery claim made by the school in a petition to the House.
He stated that the House committee was forced to issue the order because the management of the apex bank, the First Bank and the administrator of Whiteplains British School failed to avail it with all the relevant loan documents during investigative hearing conducted by the committee.
Rep. Abonta said that the shutting down of the school because of the dispute over the loan repayment is harmful to the nation’s economy and also frowned at the appeal filed by the parties to the dispute at the courts, declaring that “l want all documents here, not to sit on appeal.”
According to him, there are several suits with different suit numbers on the matter before the House committee.
In a petition dated November 26, 2018 and signed by the school’s administrator, Dr. Francis Nwufoh, the petitioner avowed that the First Bank used forged documents to seal the school over a loan it obtained from the bank even though the period of repayment was yet to expire.
The petitioner further claimed that First Bank staff who allegedly forged the loan documents being disputed stormed the school premises and started erecting fences at the school’s gate.
Testifying before the House committee, Mrs. Frances Lucius Ibeh, who said she sold the disputed land in which the school was built to Dr. Nwufoh, added that she endorsed the tripartite agreement entered into by the parties in respect of the loan.
She informed the House Committee that she will direct the solicitor that signed the loan agreement entered into by bank and the school owners to produce the original documents over the disputed land upon which the school is situated.
After extensive deliberations, committee resolved that all parties summoned at the next sitting of the investigative hearing should avail the committee of all necessary documents relating to the disputed loan in less than seven days.