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GTbank refutes Innoson’s takeover

By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU- EMBATTLED commercial bank, the Guaranty Trust Bank, GTBank, has raised the alarm that auto firm, Innoson Group of companies was wrongly executing a court judgment by sealing some of its branches in the South East.

 Innoson and Gtbank at supreme court
Founder and chairman of Nigeria’s automobile company, Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma.

The Bank in a press statement on Friday stated that the issue it has in contention with the manufacturing conglomerate was with account of Nigeria Custom Service that is domicile with the bank and not against GTbank as an entity.

The bank however, pledged to continue providing best-in-class customer experience service to its valued customers, noting that there was no cause for panic.

GTbank’s company secretary, Erhi Obebeduo in the statement said “The attention of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (‘the bank’) has been drawn statements circulating in the news and social media in respect of a purported enforcement of a judgment of the federal High court, Ibadan, Oyo state, at one of its branches in Anambra state.

“The bank as a law-abiding corporate citizen is taking all necessary legal steps to address this situation and to ensure that no illegal or fraudulent execution is carried out.

“It is important to state that the judgment allegedly in issue is in respect of garnishee proceedings against the account of the Nigerian Custom Service board domiciled with the bank and not against the bank as an entity.

“The bank remains committed to providing the best-in-class customer experience to all its valued customers.”

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However, Innoson in statement through its head of corporate communications, Cornel Osigwe said the company has taken over GT bank because of N8.7 billion the bank is owing Innoson and which the Supreme court has decided the matter on February this year.

Innoson’s statement reads: “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 Gtbank’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 GTbank’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 GTbank By Way of Garnishee order Absolute – To Pay N2.4 Billion 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, GTbank Approached The Supreme Court To Challenge The Court Of Appeal’s Decision

“However In An Ruling Delivered By Honourable Olabode Rhodes-Vivour Jsc On Wednesday, February 27th2019, The Lord Justices Of The Supreme Court (Jsc) Dismissed GTbank’s Appeal And Thus Affirmed The Concurrent Judgment Of Both The Court Of Appeal And The Federal High Court, Ibadan Division Which Ordered GTbank By Way Of Garnishee Order Absolute – To Pay N2.4 Billion To Innoson With A 22% Interest, Per Annum, On The Judgment Until The Final Liquidation Of The Judgment.

“The Judgment Debt Of N2.4b 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.”

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A Writ of Fieri Facias (Writ of FiFa) is a court order that gives an official the right to take a person’s property in order to pay someone the money that person owes them.

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