UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement from the bank.
Innocent Chukwuma, the chairman of Innoson Group has through a Writ of FiFa taken over Guaranty Trust Bank PLC, also known as GTBank, for and on behalf of Innoson Nigeria Ltd as a result of the Bank’s indebtedness to Innoson Nigeria Ltd.
In a statement from Innoson Group, signed by Cornel Osigwe, the head of corporate communication of the group, it was revealed that the company obtained as 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 N2.4 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, GTB 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 GTB’s appeal and thus affirmed the concurrent judgment of both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division.
The court had ordered GTB 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, 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 Trent has obtained an e-mailed statement from the management of GTBank. The bank says that the purported court judgement was against a customer account in the bank and not the bank itself.
“The attention of Guaranty Trust Bank plc (“GTBank/the Bank”) has been drawn to the purported enforcement of a Judgment of the Federal High Court, Ibadan at one of its branches in Anambra State,” the statement emailed by a top executive director of the bank said.
“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.
“It is important to state, 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.”