Judgement Debt: Innoson petitions court to restrain GTBank from name change

*Innoson asks the court to stop Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) from registering or re-registering the GTBank Plc as a holding or financial holding company until it pays Innoson Nigeria Limited the outstanding total court judgment debt of N32.8 billion

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In a move to prevent the leading financial institution from evading the execution of a N32billion court judgement before name change, Innoson Nigeria Limited, one of the subsidiaries of the Innoson Group of Companies, has petitioned a court to stop GTBank Plc from transforming into a private and financial holding company.

Mr. Cornel Osigwe, Spokesman of the Innoson Group, in a statement, has alleged that GTBank was attempting to change its name in order to evade the payment of the N32billion court judgement.

The Innoson Spokesman disclosed that as group was awaiting the bank to show a payment plan for the judgement debt, the bank resorted to a scheme of de-registering itself as a public limited liability company and re-registering as a private limited liability company and financial holding in the country.

He stated that the Supreme Court of Nigeria had struck out GTB’s motion filed to set aside its earlier decision/order made on February 27, 2019, dismissing the bank’s Court of Appeal judgement of February 6, 2014, which was in favour of Innoson Nigeria Limited.

He noted that the Federal High Court, Awka Division, in Anambra State, March 27, 2019, pursuant to Supreme Court dismissing GTB’s appeal, granted leave to Innoson to enforce and execute the judgment and garnishee Order Absolute made by the court coram Shakarho, J at the Ibadan Judicial Division on May 18, 2010 and July 29, 2011 respectively.

According to Osigwe, the order was concurrently affirmed by the Court of Appeal in the judgment of February 6, 2014, and by the Supreme Court in its judgment of February 27, 2019.

As Innoson commenced the act of court execution, the bank returned to the court vide its motion on notice, seeking orders staying or suspending the execution embarked by Innoson, said Osigwe.

He disclosed that the bank also sought orders setting aside the exparte orders made by the court granting the automobile company leave to enforce the judgment.

“Whilst refusing GTB’s application and staying further proceedings, the court further held that the order it made on March 27, 2019, in favour of Innoson Nigeria Limited granting it leave to enforce the judgment and issue processes of execution of the judgment are valid, said Innoson Group.

The statement as well said all the steps taken to levy executions in pursuance of that order are still valid and are not vacated, whilst all the prayers by GTB in its motion of 1st April 2019 are not granted.

Osigwe noted “GTB however, rushed back to the Supreme Court and applied for an order setting aside the Supreme Court’s judgement, dismissing its appeal against the above judgement.

The Supreme Court, however, dismissed GTBank’s motion Tuesday, November 3, 2020”, said the statement.

He further disclosed the auto company, sued the bank at the Federal High Court and therein sought court restraining the fourth Defendant (Corporate Affairs Commission) from deregistering the first Defendant (GTB) as a public limited liability company and or re-registering the first Defendant (GTB) as a private limited liability (it-GTB) until it paid the outstanding judgment arising from Suit Numbers: FHC/L/CS/603/2006 and No. FHC/AWK/CS/139/2012, respectively.

Innoson as well asked the court to stop Corporate Affairs Commission from registering or re-registering the GTB as a holding or financial holding company whether as a public or private limited liability company until it pays Innoson Nigeria Limited the outstanding total judgment debt of N32.8 billion, arising from Suit Numbers: FHC/L/CS/603/2006 and FHC/AWk/CS/139/2012, respectively affirm by the appellate courts in Appeal nos: CA/1/258/2011, SC.694/2014 and CA/E/288/2013.

Besides, Innoson sought an order cancelling the GTB’s special resolution and/or any other of its resolution that it should be deregistered as a public limited liability company and/or be re-registered as a private limited liability company and or a holding company until it pays it the sum, arising from suit numbers: FHC/L/CS/603/2006 and FHC/AWK/CS/139/2012, respectively affirmed by the appellate courts in Appeal Nos. CA/1/258/2011, SC.694/2014 and CA/E/288/2013.

“An order setting aside the 3rd Defendant’s (Securities and Exchange Commission) No -objection to 1st Defendant’s proposal to be re-registered as a private limited liability company and as a holding or a holding financial company.

“An order setting aside the 2nd Defendant’s approval -in- principal granted to the 1st Defendant to operate as a holding or a holding financial company,” added the statement.

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