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Innoson to GTB: Allot shares to us if you can’t pay N8.7bn debt



Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing, an automobile company, has asked Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) for shares if the bank cannot comply with a judgement of the supreme court on a debt of N8.7bn.

Last week, the company said the supreme court had refused to grant the bank an injunction to restrain Innoson from continuing to levy execution against it.

The company said the apex court upheld the ruling earlier given by a federal high court in Ibadan.

But GTB had responded saying the judgment was against Garnishee Proceedings, an account of the Nigerian Customs Service board, domiciled with the Bank and not against the bank as an entity.

Erhi Obebeduo, secretary of the bank, said GTB was taking all necessary legal steps to ensure that no “illegal or fraudulent execution” is carried out.

But in a statement on Sunday, Cornel Osigwe, Innoson’s head corporate communications, said the company is aware that GTB had earlier deposed to an affidavit in court that its banking operations will be “seriously and adversely affected” if it complies with the court order.

The automobile company, therefore, said based on the bank’s oath, it should as a matter of urgency, convert the N8.7bn judgement debt or part of it into shares and allot to Innoson to save it from operational damage.

“GTB’s bid to stop Innoson from taking it over nosedived last week Friday, April 7th, 2019 as the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan refused to hear or grants it an injunction to restrain Innoson from continuing to levy execution against it; the court also refused to stay execution,” the statement read.

“Despite the decision of the Supreme Court on February 27th 2019 dismissing the appeal by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) 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.

“In order to stop Innoson from continuing with taking over its assets in execution of the aforesaid judgment, GTB 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 which the 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; and 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.”

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