NBS challenging basis of new special meeting request

The New Building Society (NBS) has approached the courts asking it to deem a requisition document submitted to its chairman by a group of concerned members requesting another Special General Meeting, as one which does not constitute a proper requisition according to the society’s laws.

And the court has since granted a stay to the recognition and treating of the requisition document until the matter is heard on November 14 following a request made in this regard.

Leslie A. Sobers, the signatory to the requisition document which also had lists of the names of several NBS members, is listed as the defendant in the court document which this newspaper has seen. Sobers has since told this newspaper that an appearance would be entered on his behalf.

NBS made the ex-parte application by way of an affidavit in the High Court through its attorneys Ashton and Pauline Chase.

It has contended that the requisition document which was submitted on October 19 and addressed to its board chairman did not constitute a proper requisition for a Special General Meeting under Section 12 of Chapter 36:21 of the laws of the country.

The originating summons document stated too that the reasons listed for the meeting do not now constitute a legal and proper base on which and for which a Special General Meting of the plaintiffs of the society can or should be convened.

Additionally, having regard to the nature of the society, it wants the court to view the document as a misuse of the authority given in Section 12 of the laws governing it and also as undue and unwarranted harassment of the board of directors which convened a requisitioned meeting on September 8.

Therefore, the society wants the court to declare that it is not required to summon a Special General Meeting of their members as claimed in the requisition document.

A group of concerned members of the society had come together and requisitioned the society’s board for a Special General Meeting after it felt that the board was not vocal enough in making members aware of what was happening in the society, especially in wake of reports which indicated that several frauds had been uncovered there.

The board had held a meeting on September 8 at which detailed explanations were given as to how a $69M fraud was committed on an account belonging to Bibi Khan.

Chairman Moen McDoom took members though a step by step explanation as to how the fraud was detected and how the society dealt with it and also explained reasons for the actions taken.

Their actions included the eventual dismissal of three of the society’s top managers, Maurice Arjoon (CEO, Director/Secretary), Kissoon Baldeo (Asst Mortgage Manager and Kent Vincent (Operations Manager).

The concerned members believe that their concerns were not adequately addressed and so decided to issue another requisition document. The document which was received by the NBS on October 22 and addressed to its chairman stated that the objectives of the September 8 meeting were not fully addressed.

It stated too that 58 members whose signatures were attached wanted to discuss issues such as governance, transparency and accountability and employment policy.

In the new document too the members had requested the establishment of an independent team of auditors to effect a forensic audit of the society in order that its financial standing be determined. The investments of the society and issues relating to the fiduciary obligations of the board of directors and matters relating to frauds were some of the issues the members felt were not addressed and want them discussed at the meeting they are now requisitioning.

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