When the former Transport minister, Mohammed Magoro, approached Skye bank in 2009 for a loan, he did with a smile but little did he know that, singular act would become his source of worry later.
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the retired senior Army officer to pay a debt of N104, 061,683 to Skye Bank Plc.
The judgment of the court was sequel to a debt recovery suit filed by the bank against him and a limited Liability company Automobile Manufacturers Company Limited.
As revealed in a statement of claim dated July 20, 2009, it was alleged that the company as a customer of the bank applied for and was granted the following facilities:
Sometime in February 2001, the company applied for a loan facility of N 21, 300,000 for the financing a contract for the supply of 5 units of BMW motorcycles to Nasarawa State Government.
On March 29, 2001 the company further applied for overdraft facility of N39million which was granted.
By another offer letter dated July 6, 2001, Skye Bsak granted the company’s application for a credit facility in the sum of N48 million, and further facility of N12, 500 was also granted to the company via offer letter dated January 7, 2002 to finance the procurement and installation of radio communication for Nasarawa State Government.
The various facilities granted by the bank to the company stood at N111,800,000 which was fully drawn and utilized by the company and with the full backing of Maj. Gen. Magoro who was a director in the company. He executed a full and unconditional personal guarantee for the full facility amounts and accrued interest in favour of Skye bank.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence and National Intelligence, failed to repay the outstanding facilities despite several demands by the bank. There is currently an outstanding sum of N104, 061,683.
However, the defendants filed statement of defence and counter claim along with lists of witnesses and their written statements on oath, but the defendant failed to attend court, their written depositions were never adopted. Therefore what was before the court were the pleadings not supported by evidence, which were deemed abandoned.
In her judgment, the presiding judge Mojisola Olatoregun said: ’The court cannot rewrite the contract for parties. Once the defendant found the terms acceptable, the parties are bond. There is nothing on the other side against which the evidence led by the plaintiff could be evaluated on the imaginary seek as the defendants failed to adduce evidence in support of their pleadings, plaintiff will succeed on minimum proof. The inability of the guarantor crystallizes immediately the third person is unable to pay the outstanding debt.
“The prayer of the bank for the claim of the sum of N104, 061, 688, 30 being the outstanding amount owed the bank as at 19th January 2004 by the Automobile Manufacturer company limited succeeds. Interest on the aforesaid sum of N104, 061, 688, 30 at the rate of 20% per annum up till date of judgment and thereafter at the rate of 10% per annum until judgment is fully satisfied also succeeds. Cost of N50,000 is awarded in favour of Skye bank Plc.”
Meanwhile, Skye bank has filed an application before the court to garnishee the accounts of the defendants to satisfy the judgment sum.
However, it was disclosed that Magoro has filed an application before the court urging the court to stay any form of judgment enforcement of the judgment sum of N104, 061, 688, 30 obtained against him by Skye bank Plc as he was dissatisfied with the said judgment and want an appeal lodged against the said decision. It was alleged that there was no evidence led in his defence; consequently he was denied fair hearing, a source said.
Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case until September 27, 2018 for further hearing.