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Court Rejects GTBank’s Move To Stop Innoson From Taking Over

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The Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan has rejected a stay of execution request by Guaranty Trust Bank [GTBank] to restrain Innoson Group from continuing to levy execution against it.

News of the rejection was broken by Innoson Group’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Cornel Osigwe, in a press release issued on Monday.

Mr. Osigwe also stated that the court refused to hear a request to grant it an injunction to restrain Innoson.

Osigwe lamented that despite the decision of the Supreme Court on February 27 dismissing the appeal by GTBank and affirming thereby the concurrent judgment of Court of Appeal, Ibadan division and Federal High Court Ibadan which ordered GTB by way of Garnishee Order Absolute to pay Innoson Nigeria Ltd the sum of N2.4 Billion with a 22% interest, per annum, on the judgment sum until the final liquidation of the judgment debt, the bank is yet to comply with this order.

He said that in a bid to stop Innoson from continuing with taking over its assets in execution of the aforesaid judgment, GTBank approached the Federal High Court, Ibadan on Friday, 5th April 2019 and requested the court, through a motion, to stay execution and or for an injunction restraining Innoson from continuing with executing a judgment.

He said: “Supreme Court has affirmed when it dismissed the GTB’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision affirming the High Court’s judgment and order in favour of Innoson.

“We have previously stated that in a garnishee proceedings, once an order of garnishee nisi is made, the garnishee is required by law to set the amount involved aside and will not allow the judgment debtor to withdraw from it.

“If the order is made absolute, the garnishee pays the money to the judgment creditor and incurs no liability for doing that but if the order is not made absolute the garnishee returns the money to the judgment debtor.”

Osigwe recalled that the order was made absolute since 29th July 2011 and GTB held unto the money from that time and is using it for its business.

He added that by the time the order was made absolute it was no more the judgment debtor’s money but rather that of Innoson Nigeria Ltd who is the judgment creditor.

“If a garnishee refuses to comply with the order, then, it becomes a judgment debtor, as GTB has become in the present case, against whom execution of the order will issue,” he stated.

Based on the foregoing, Innoson wrote a letter to GTB directing it to pay the N2.4 billion Judgment debt to Innoson Nigeria Ltd with the accrued interest of N6,717,909,849.96 with immediate effect.

Innoson, however, advised GTBank that if it’s banking operation will be seriously and adversely affected, and its capital base eroded as a result of the N8.7 billion judgment debt, it should convert the said sum or part of it into shares and allot same to Innoson.

“This,” according to Osigwe, “will save taking it over in the manner Innoson is doing.”

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