Monday, May 23, 2011

A Letter Purporting to be From a Meeting of the Board of Trustees in Which New Trustees Were Appointed - 7th June 1995

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The existence of this document raises many grave concerns. As a letter claiming to be the authority on which new Trustees were appointed, it is worth referencing the normal, legal and professional manner in which Trustees had previously and should continue to be appointed, through signed and witnessed supplements to the school's Trust Deed. An example of such a supplement can be seen here: A Supplement to the School's Trust Deed - 5th April 1995. The presence on the letter of a 'Unity High School, Khartoum' rubber stamp is odd and indicates nothing of legal standing.

Presumably there is an original copy of this letter but this cannot be traced within the school. This hand written letter supposedly by Rev. Reuben Makoi (a Trustee of the school in legal standing) is claimed to have been drafted in London. It is noticeable (though not necessarily significant) that Rev. Makoi refers to himself in the third person and claims that he is the sole surviving Sudanese resident Trustee. There is no mention of the Archbishop of Sudan or the Archbishop in Egypt who are, according to the school's Trust Deed, automatically Trustees of the School. Makoi would be very aware of the fact that the Archbishop of Sudan (if not his counterpart in Egypt) was also a Trustee.

The letter appoints Bishop Boulos (Bishop of Khartoum), Ezekiel Kondo (Provost), Dr Safwat Fanous, Mr Robert Boulos and Makram Margos to the Board of Trustees. There is no mention of Rev. Makoi's resignation from the Board. It is worth noting that Makoi plus the five new Trustees and the Archbishops of Sudan and Egypt take the number of Trustees of the school over the limit for the number of Trustees allowed on the Board. The Trust Deed states: "...the total number of Trustees shall not exceed seven and shall not be less than three." (Page 3 of the Trust Deed). Interestingly, Makram Margos first appears in the school's documentation as a parent involved in the Fees Problem of 1989-90. From his involvement at that time, he then went on to become a member of the School Council and from there to being one of the illegal self-appointed Trustees listed in this document. You can find the relevant notes over the fees issue by Principal Michael Partington here: Notes by Michael Partington & List of Parents Involved in the Fees Issue - 1989.

The question arises as to why these five newly appointed Trustees nominated themselves? There is no mention  of the need or requirement that nominations should be made to the Board of Trustees in any documentation relating to the Board. Trustees also do not need to meet with anyone, other than a witness in legal standing to nominate new Trustees. If Makoi were indeed in London, why did he not, or indeed why did not Safwat Fanous or the Principal David Treagust (both of whom it is purported were present in London with Makoi) go to a solicitor and have this document drawn up in the proper legal manner?

Interestingly, even after the supposed appointment of the five given in this letter, four months later in October, Treagust was still calling Makoi the last remaining Trustee and trying to get him to sign something...anything that would establish the legality of the new appointments. You can find the new letter here: A Letter From David Treagust About the Board of Trustees and Rev Reuben Makoi - 7th October 1995.

All of the new Trustees named in this document were also members of the School Council (including the Chairman and Vice Chairman). It is clearly a direct contravention of the spirit of the original Trust Deed for the same persons to be on both governing bodies of the school as this removes the authority of the Trustees over the School Council and it's affairs, and places powers that are the preserve of the Trustees in the hands of Council members. It also removes the body to whom appeals can be made in the event of contested decisions of the School Council. Would Makoi appoint new Trustees in contravention of the spirit of the Trust Deed to which he was a genuine signatory? With the supposed appointment of these new Trustees and the handing of authority over the school to the members of the School Council, there becomes no need for the existence of the Board of Trustees at all. This latter point is reflected in the changing school Constitution over the subsequent years which saw the gradual removal of the Trustees from almost all aspects in which they related to the school.

The letter contains the feint signature of Charles Bonsall (an ex-Trustee living in England at the time). Even in photocopies of the original (a considerable number of which were made by the Principal William Strath), this does not appear to be a genuine part of the document but appears to have been added by other means, either before or after the completion of the letter. It is claimed elsewhere that Charles Bonsall attended the meeting in London. This was not necessary. An ex-Trustee's presence adds nothing to the legal standing of this letter. The question arises: Why was Charles Bonsall present and what is he signing for? Is he witnessing the letter? There is no indication on the letter. It is highly unlikely in fact that Charles Bonsall was present at the meeting at all - if indeed any meeting took place.

It is worth noting that the hand writing in this letter bears a remarkable resemblance to the hand writing in the Principal's Log Book for the entries made by the Principal David Treagust. It is clear that these entries in the Log Book covering the period when this letter was drafted, were all written at the same time, and not spread over Treagust's tenure as Principal as would normally be the case. It is felt that there is a likelihood that Treagust's entries in the Log Book (and possibly those of other Principals) have been falsified to remove mention of the Trustees and the ownership of the school.

Since the discovery of this letter Robert Boulos has admitted that it is a forgery, as has Bishop Kondo. There is also an Arabic version of this letter, now deposited with the Land Registry, that Robert Boulos has stated was forged by Safwat Fanous. The Arabic version of the letter (that the Archive does not at present have a copy of) was also authenticated and witnessed by the lawyer Nabil Adib in the full knowledge that it was a forgery.

7 comments:

  1. So this now makes Robert Boulos The Director of the School, a trustee, A ouncil Member and Secretary to the PTA. I guess he is right when he says this is HIS school.

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  2. Only in as much as he has not faced a legal challenge as yet over his theft of the school and all of it's assets along with Safwat Fanous, Bishop Kondo, Makram Margos and the now deceased Bishop Boulos.

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  3. When is Robbie Bolous going to prison for all his theft?? Justice has to be served and now.
    Kathleen

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  4. This document is amazing. Was the Principal a complete idiot. It is so childlike. Who is Makram anyway? Wan't he some difficult parent or other. Is Waddah expecting to be a Trustee soon aor Aliya? I can see no other eason for the keeping quiet about this.

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  5. Makram Margos was one of the parents that formed a group to challenge the exorbitant rise in fees (90% from one year to the next) that the school levied in 1989. This school fees scandal ultimately lead to the arrest of Principal Brian Foakes at the start of his time at Unity. This Archive has all the pertinent documents on this affair and will post the rest up as time goes by. Some are already on this Archive. Makram Margos then went on to become a member of the School Council and then a member of the 'Gang of Five' involved in the theft of the school. At some point following this, he seems to have disappeared from the school records and his whereabouts is now unknown, though it is told on good authority that he is still in Khartoum.

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  6. Makram Margos has now died. Interestingly he was also involved in the running of a Bible Society in Khartoum from which a considerable amount of money disappeared. He was widely accused by the local Christian community. It seems churlish to speak of the dead in this way but that was his reputation.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment on the death of Mr Margos. There is no doubt that he was deeply involved in the forging of documents and the theft of Unity High School, though how this is linked to his previous involvement in leading the protesting group of parents in the fees scandal is hard to tell. Perhaps his inclusion in the 'Gang of Five' was to buy him off or win his silence or retraction in some way over the issue of the exorbitant fees.

      Delete

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