The Principal of Model Senior Secondary School, Isaac Acque has accused Ms Claudia Cole, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) of forging her late husband’s signature to obtained power of attorney.
Mr Isaac made these accusations while entering his defence in a single count of false information presided by Magistrate Ben Faal of the Brikama Magistrates Court.
“The purported power of attorney was taken to an expert who confirmed that the signature was forged,” Mr Isaac said.
According to him, the late William Cole, husband of Minister Cole personally confirmed that the document was forged by his wife when he refused to go with her to Busumbala Village to claimed ownership of the school. He was asked to call the expert to tender the affidavit of the false power of attorney.
Mr Isaac added that he obtained the school’s title deed with a sum of D500, 000 Dalasi which he said was paid in installments to the Village Development Committee (VDC) of Busumbala Village. He tendered copies of the receipts and transfer of ownership which was admitted for identification purposes until the defendant provides original copies from the high court.
The middle aged Nigerian filed a civil suit against Minister Cole claiming ownership of the school premises at Brikama High Court.
However, he further told the court that the late William Cole has abandoned the school when he could not pay rent and the school staff due to financial problems that resulted to him (Isaac’s) acquisition of the land to relocate the school to Busumbala Village. He added that Minister Cole was at that time a Regional Education Director at Basse.
Mr Isaac made a lengthy explanation about his encounters with Minister Cole prior to her cabinet appointment. He alleged that he was taken to the NIA and Police Headquarters where investigations were conducted into the matter. He tendered copy of the NIA report which was admitted until he provides the original copy from the high court.
“I was detained in a cell at Brikama police”
He mentioned the meeting held at the Ministry of Justice where they were told to settle the matter out of court.
“Ms Claudia Cole has signed an agreement to pay me D3 Million for the land,” he asserted.
Mr Isaac told the court that the agreement was signed in the presence of their lawyers Badou Conteh and Moses Richards respectively. Unfortunately, he said the woman refused to honor the agreement.
He also mentioned another agreement signed at the office of Mr Babucarr Suwareh, former Regional Education Director at Brikama. It was agreed that the two of them worked as partners but then it also failed. He tendered the said agreement.
“The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has decided to close the school even though the school is 100% private,” he told the court.
The Model senior school Principal said before handing over the school, he told the then regional education director that he is a family man and depends on his salary for their up keep. He was promised of salaries till the problem is resolved but they failed to honour that agreement too.
Meanwhile, the matter was adjourned to August 28, 2018.