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Ownership confusion engulfs GTBank as Innoson Motors begins takeover?

Since Friday last week, versions of Supreme Court judgment interpretations have started flying between Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) and leading indigenous vehicle manufacturing group, Innoson Nigeria Limited following the February 27, 2019 final ruling and a writ of Fifa secured by Innoson from the Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, against the bank to implement the judgment given by Nigerian courts over the disputes between it and the bank.
Otherwise, the Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Dr Innocent Chukwuma (OFR) has through a Writ of FiFa, taken over the bank for and on behalf of Innoson Nigeria Ltd as a result of the Bank’s indebtedness to Innoson Nigeria Ltd.
Recall that 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 N2.4 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.

Innoson GTB
Innoson Chairman, Chief Innocent Chukwuma (OFR) and GTBank logo

Clearly, in the 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 N2.4 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.
In a statement made available to Business Hilights Bureau chief in Nnewi by the Head of Corporate Communications, Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, the vehicle giant averred that “Having obtained the requisite leave, the Federal High Court issued the necessary process for levying execution – the Writ of Fifa.”
Nevertheless, GTBank in a swift reaction via the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) weekend assured its numerous customers and partners that “All necessary legal steps are being taken to ensure that no illegal or fraudulent execution is carried out against the Bank”.
GTBank notice titled: Re: Purported Enforcement of a Judgment Against GTBank, said “It is important to state that the Judgment allegedly in issue is in respect of Garrishee Proceeding against the account of the Nigerian Customs Service Board domiciled with the Bank and not against the Bank as an entity”.
“The bank remains committed to providing best-in-class customer experience to all its valued customers,” GTBank assured.