The Parent Teachers Association (PTA), of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Benin, Edo State, have dragged 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, over alleged anomalies in the running of the school.
Also joined as defendants in the case filed by the Chairman of the PTA, Foster Efosa-Enobakhare, for himself and on behalf of the Association, are the immediate past principal of the school, Patience Erhahon and the immediate past acting principal, Gladys Madueke, Zenith Bank Plc and Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc, of Lagos and Abuja headquarters respectively.
In the suit marked 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 N28m 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 N90m 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.
They further prayed the court to order the former principals to refund the sum of N30m 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 N34m 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 N2m, N5m, N12m, N3m 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 N20m damages each from Zenith Bank and Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc for a breach of customer relationship.
The parents and guardians also prayed the court to make a 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 prayers include 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/, titled: “Advisory on the Management of PTA funds” and dated April 1, 2016.
When the case came up for mentioning last Thursday, the Presiding Judge, Justice (Mrs.) Njoku, who granted leave to the plaintiffs to amend the originating process, adjourned the case to December 13, 2017, to enable defendants reply to the amended originating processes.