Innoson motors Nigeria Limited is making moves to seal the head office of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB) this new week in a bid to quickly recover her N8.8 billion. The company has already sealed seven branches of the bank.
The branches are: one in Nnewi, two in Onitsha, two in Awka and two in Enugu. According to the Spokesperson of the company, Cornell Osigwe, Innoson will seal more of GTB bank branches nationwide to recover the N8.8 billion owed to the motor company.
GTB is however, a Nigerian multinational financial institution, that offers Online/Internet Banking, Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Investment Banking and Asset Management services, with its head office in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The bank was formed in 1988 by over 35 young Nigerians in their thirties, spearheaded mostly by Tayo Aderinokun and Fola Adeola, but also included Femi Pedro, Gbolade Osibodu, Femi Akingbe, Akin Opeodu and others.
Innoson obtained a writ of Fifa from the Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, against GTB to effect the judgment given by the Federal High Court in Ibadan and upheld by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The 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 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 sum until the final liquidation of the judgment debt.
GTB appealed this decision at the appeal up to the country’s apex 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 Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, OFR has through a Writ of FiFa taken over GTB 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’’, the motor company said in a statement.
In a ruling delivered by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, JSC on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the 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 N2.4 billion has an accrued interest as at time of judgment, of about N6,717,909,849.96 which results to about N8.8 billion.
Based on the Supreme Court’s decision of last February 27, counsel to Innoson, Prof McCarthy Mbadugha, 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.
GTB 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.
According to the motor company, ‘’we have taken over GTBank in Awka and Nnewi. We will seal more of their properties to recover our money and from next week, we shall move to GTB head office to enforce the judgment of courts. We will sell those properties to get our money back. GTB bank has refuted the claim saying that the judgment was against the account of the Nigerian Customs and Excise Board domiciled with GTBank, and not against GTBank as an entity.’’