By Abdulwahab Abdulah
A Lagos-based school, The White Dove, has asked a Federal High Court, Lagos to restrain Bank PHB Plc from selling or taking over the school following an alleged N280 million facility, pending the determination of the suit. The school, which said that it secured a loan facility for the construction of its school, is seeking to restrain the bank from taking over its buildings located at Sango-Tedo, Lekki area of Lagos State or elsewhere, pending the hearing and determination of the suit. Mrs Oluwayemisi Adekoya is also a claimant in the suit.
It will be recalled that Bank PHB, had dragged the school to court, praying for leave to appoint a receiver/manager to manage the affairs of the school following an alleged debt owed the bank.
The bank had asked the court to permit it to take over the running of the school, to recover the outstanding N300 million indebtedness of the school to it(bank). The school, meanwhile, has asked the court to declare that it was not indebted to the tune of N290,845,183.52 “or any sum at all, as alleged and demand by the bank.
The school want the court to declare that “by its default and apparent negligence, the defendant has greatly contributed to the debt portfolio of the claimants, which has now increased.”
It also prayed for a “mandatory order of the court to appoint an independent auditors/chattered accountants to thoroughly and comprehensively investigate all transactions that had taken place on the account of the first claimant with the defendants since the inception of the facility with a view to determining the issues that arose.
In its 24 paragraphs statement in support of the action, the school averred that Bank PHB offered a N280million loan facility to it for the completion of the first phase of it expansion programme situated at Sango-Tedo, Lekki and amongst the terms contained in the offer letter, which formed the basis of the loan contract was that the applicable interest rate shall be 17 percent per annum.
However, it claimed that the “bank failed, refused and neglected to apply the mutually agreed rate of interest of 17 percent per annum but went ahead to arbitrarily charged and applied interest which at various times were as high as 19 percent per annum, without the knowledge and consent of the school and worse still, without communicating such applicable interest rates to the school as the bank was expected to do.”