A Federal high court sitting in Lagos, south-west Nigeria has ordered former minister of Transport, Major General Mohammed Magoro (retired)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 Skye Bank Plc against Major General Magoro and a limited Liability company Automobile Manufacturers Company limited.
In a statement of claim dated 20th of July 2009 filed before the court by Skye Bank Plc, it was alleged that Automobile Manufacturers 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 the 29th of March, 2001 the company further applied for overdraft facility of N39million which was granted.
By another offer letter dated 6th July, 2001, Skye Bank Plc granted the company’s application for a credit facility in the sum of N48million, and further facility of over N12m was also granted to the company via offer letter dated 7th January, 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 fully backing of Major General Mohammed Magoro who was a Director to the company executed a full and unconditional personal guarantee for the full facility amounts and accrued interest in favour of Skye Bank Plc.
The defendant 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 defense 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 are 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.
I accept the plaintiff evidence on this and I am satisfied that Major General Magoro is liable to liquidate the indebtedness of the defendants.
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, Major General 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.
The defendants averred that they are disatisfied with the said judgment and want an appeal lodged against the said decision; they alleged that there was no evidence led in his defense consequently he was denied fair hearing. In addition, the court did not hear their own counter claim.
Justice Olatoregun has adjourned till 27th of September, 2018 for further hearing.