By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Parent Teachers Association (PTA) chapter of the Federal Government Girls College, Benin have sued the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu to a federal High Court, sitting in Benin-City over alleged anomalies in the running of the school.
The suit filed by the PTA chairman of the federal college, Foster Efosa-Enobakhare on behalf of himself and members of the association also joined the immediate past principal of the school, Patience Erhahon and the immediate past acting principal, Gladys Madueke as defendants.
The management of Zenith Bank Plc and Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc, Lagos and Abuja headquarters respectively were also joined in the suit as defendants.
In the suit No.FHC/B/CS/147/2016, the plaintiffs prayed the court to order the immediate past principal, Patience Erhahon and the immediate past acting Principal, Gladys Madueke to refund the sum of N28 million collected by way of house dues and class dues from 2013/2014 to 2016/2017 academic sessions,
The plaintiffs also want the court to direct the former principals to refund the sum of N90million collected from the parents and guardians of the students of the college by way of Skool Media collections dues from 2013/2014 to 2016/2017 academic sessions.
It further urged the court to order the former principals to refund the sum of N30million being the illegal collections in the name of insurance levy surreptitiously imposed on the students of the college between 2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions.
The association also prayed the court to direct the former principals to refund the sum of N34million being excess profit from the compulsory purchase of books from the “ghost bookshop” in 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions to parents and guardians.
Other demands of the parents are refund of N2million, N5million, N12million, N3million and all other monies collected illegally by the former principals from 2013/2014, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions.
The plaintiffs, however demanded the sum of N20million damages each from Zenith Bank and Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc for a breach of customer relationship.
Also demanded by the parents and guardians include declaration of the purported proscription and ban of PTA in the school by the organs of the federal government as illegal, null, void, unconstitutional and an infraction on the constitutional right of freedom of association of its members.
Other prayer was the declaration that the minister of education acted outside the purview of his authority and power when he directed the director, basic and senior secondary education , federal ministry of education, Abuja and the immediate past acting principal to instruct Zenith and Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc to freeze the accounts of the Union.
The PTA said the action was in defiance to the Federal Ministry of Education’s circular with reference number FME/S/146/C.7/T/ and dated April 1, 2016 titled,” Advisory on the Management of PTA funds”.
When the case came up for mentioning last Thursday, the presiding judge, Justice Njoku granted leave to the plaintiffs to amend the originating process.
She however adjourned the case to December 13, 2017 to enable defendants to reply to the amended originating processes.