The House of Representatives has directed Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Police to investigate and prosecute officials of a first generation bank over forgery of land documents for the acquisition of over N5 billion belonging to White Plains British School located in Abuja.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of the recommendations of the House Committee on Public Petitions into non-payment of the balance of N388.577 million out of a total sum of N690.386 million loan obtained by White Plains British School from the first generation bank.
The report of the Uzoma Nkem-Abonta-led House Committee on Public Petitions which was adopted at the Committee of the Whole chaired by Speaker Yakubu Dogara before embarking on Sallah recess, stated that out of the N630 million loan, the sum of N301,808,610.99 was paid to the first generation bank as principal and interest.
In its findings, the Committee observed that: “the Tripartite Mortgage Agreement which was purportedly signed by the petitioner (White Plains British School) and the respondent.
It, however, noted that the “Tripartite Legal Mortgage was secured by fraud since all the signatories denied ever signing same.”
“The House noted that the Tripartite Legal Mortgage was forged by Mr. Chuks Dibiezue, the owner of Lagardera & Co., who is an external solicitor to the respondent.
“That from the evidence led before this honourable committee it is obvious that the lawyers who perfected the said Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage doctored or forged the signatories of the Directors OF France-Lee Nigeria Ltd after discovering that the petitioner did not perfect his title to the said property in order to secure the perfection of the deed to Tripartite Legal Mortgage,” the 9-page report seen by Tribune Online, read in part.
The Committee argued that: “if the petitioner as a private businessman approached the bank for loan in order to do business and if the bank did not have any ulterior motive over the petitioner’s property, why did the bank go ahead to forge the petitioner’s signature and the signatures of the Directors of France-Lee Nigeria Ltd in order to perfect the Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage?
“The Committee carefully took a critical look at the offer for loan agreement the parties willingly entered into, which was one of the documents forwarded to the committee by both parties and discovered that at nowhere in the agreement was any mention made concerning Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage.
“The Committee observed that throughout the proceedings in this petition, neither the bank nor Mr. Chuks Dibiezue ever show any sign of remorse for the heinous crime allegation levelled against them by the client they are supposed to protect.
“The bank could not present any evidence of receipt of Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage agreement to the petitioner and France-Lee till date,” the report stated further.
After thorough consideration of the Committee’s findings at the Committee of the Whole, the House resolved that: “Central Bank of Nigeria do investigate the role of the bank in the forgery of Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage documents.
“The Nigeria Police Force conclude the investigation and prosecute if necessary.
“The Disciplinary Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association investigate this matter and bring the culpable lawyers to book.
“The Directors of Land, Abuja Geographical Information System for expunge all the documents filed in securing the Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage over Plot No. 321 measuring approximately 1.8 hectares within Dakibiyu District cadestral Zone B10 allocated to France-Lee Nigeria Ltd by virtue of the term of grant conveyance of approval dates 24th July 1998 and a Certificate of Occupancy dated 31st August 2005.
“The Director of land to equally expunged, discountenance and cancel the said forgery Deed of Tripartite Legal Mortgage over the said property as same was secured by fraud.
“The Registrar of Corporate Affairs Commission to cancel the letter of consent to file signatories of Directors of France-Lee Nigeria Ltd filed by Mr. Chuks Dibiezue, the external solicitor of the bank and form C07, the particulars of charge duly filed by Mr. Chuks Dibiezue, the external solicitor to the bank,” the House ruled.