GTBank Refutes Judgment Allegedly Ordering Innoson Motors To Take Over
The Guaranty Trust Bank PLC, has called on its customers and the General Public to disregard false statements said to have emanated from Innoson Motors on purported enforcement of a Judgment of the Federal High Court, Ibadan at one of its branches in Anambra State.
The bank in a statement obtained by Nigerian Tribune states that the Judgment allegedly in issue, is a Judgment against the account of the Nigerian Customs and Excise Board domiciled with GTBank and not against GTBank as an entity.
“The Bank’s Customers and the General Public are hereby kindly urged to disregard these false statements as nothing could be further from the truth,” the statement read in part.
The Bank said its attention was drawn to the false, mischievous and malicious statements circulating in the news and social media in respect of the purported directive by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Bank to make payments to one of its debtor Customers.It further stated: “there was no directive or Order issued by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Bank to make any payment to any of its debtor Customers.”
It sad that GTBank as a law abiding corporate citizen is taking all necessary legal steps to address this situation and ensure that no illegal or fraudulent execution is carried out.
A top executive of the bank who preferred anonymity expressed concern at the level people spread rumors even when they know certain undeniable truth about the same.
According to him, this is not the first time this kind of rumour is being spread. Even if there was any judgement at all he stressed, there could be options for the bank and the question of anybody taking over a bank’s branch would not arise.
His words: “If indeed any court has asked GTBank to pay Innoson Motors N8.4billion, which I know did not happen, does it mean that GTBank does not have money to pay.”
“A Bank which profit after tax grew to N184.6 billion in 2018 from N167.9 billion in 2017 is well position to obey such court order on one of its branches and still continue to operate as one of the CBN designated Systemically Important Banks like others in the same category,” he confided on Nigerian Tribune.
It would be recalled that Innoson Nigeria Limited Friday said it has obtained a writ of Fifa from the Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, against Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) to effect the judgment given by the Federal High Court in Ibadan and upheld by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
This was made known in a press release issued by Cornel Osigwe, the Head of Corporate Communication of Innocent Nigeria Limited.
Writ of FiFa (Writ of Fieri Facias) is a leave of court to execute a judgment obtained by a judgment creditor in a legal action for debt or damages by levying on the property of the judgment debtor.
In 2014, the Federal High in Ibadan ordered GTB by way of Garnishee order absolute to pay N2.4billion to Innoson with a 22 per cent interest, per annum, on the judgment sum until the final liquidation of the judgment debt.
However, GTB appealed this decision at the appeal court up to the supreme court.
But, according to Innosson, the Supreme Court on February 27, 2019, dismissed GTB’s appeal and upheld the decision of both Federal High Court and the Appeal Court.
The Statement read: “The Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, OFR has through a Writ of FiFa taken over Guaranty Trust Bank PLC for and on behalf of Innoson Nigeria Ltd as a result of the bank’s indebtedness to Innoson Nigeria Ltd. In a landmark decision on February 27th 2019, the Supreme Court of Nigeria dismissed GTB’s appeal — SC. 694/2014 — against the judgment of Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division.
“The Court of Appeal, Ibadan division had in its decision of 6th February 2014 dismissed GTB’s appeal against the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division.
“Thus, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division which ordered GTB by way of Garnishee order absolute — to pay N2.4billion to Innoson with a 22% interest, per annum, on the judgment sum until the final liquidation of the judgment debt. Rather than obey the judgment of the Court of Appeal, GTB approached the Supreme Court to challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision.
“However in a ruling delivered by Honourable Olabode Rhodes-Vivour JSC on Wednesday, February 27th2019, the Lord Justices of the Supreme Court (JSC) dismissed GTB’s appeal and thus affirmed the concurrent judgment of both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division which ordered GTB by way of Garnishee order absolute — to pay N2.4billion to Innoson with a 22% interest, per annum, on the judgment until the final liquidation of the judgment.
“The Judgment debt of N2.4bn has an accrued interest as at today of about N6,717,909,849.96 which results to about N8.8 billion.
“Based on the Supreme Court’s decision of 27th February 2019 the counsel to Innoson, Prof McCarthy Mbadugha ESQ, had approached the Federal High Court, Awka Division for leave to enforce the judgment having obtained certificates of Judgment from the Ibadan Division of the Federal High Court.
“Having obtained the requisite leave, the Federal High Court issued the necessary process for levying execution — the Writ of Fifa.”
The motor company and GTB had been in a long legal battled over alleged indiscriminate charges on Innoson’s account with the bank.
GTBank later claimed that Innoson fraudulently brought in vehicle parts with forged documents. However, the motor company denied this allegation, saying the allegation was an effort of defect from the real issue of ineptness against him.
“We have taken over GTBank in Awka and Nnewi,” Osigwe subsequently announced, adding that “other branches are coming soon”.