Innoson Urges Court To Set Aside Order On GTB’s Plan To Transform To Holding Company

AN Enugu-based manufacturing and trading company, Innoson Nigeria Limited, is seeking the order of a Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division, to, among others, set aside its ex parte order approving GTB’s intention to transmute to Guaranty Trust Holding Company PLC.

Innoson Nigeria Limited is also asking the court to stay further recognition of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc. as a financial or non-financial holding company and/or as a legal entity until it pays its total outstanding judgment debt of N32,875,204,984.38 in its {Innoson’s} favour. 

This was contained in a Motion-on-Notice brought before the court by counsel to Innoson Nigeria Ltd, Chukwuebuka I Okolo of McCarthy Mbadugha & Co. seeking for an order of the court to discharge and set aside the ex parte order granted to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. on June 16, 2021 and to set aside every step the bank took pursuant to the said ex parte order.

The counsel further sought for an order of the court to stay further recognition of Guaranty Trust Bank Holding Company Plc. as a financial or non-financial company and or as a legal entity. 

A statement by the Head of Corporate Communications and Affairs, IVM Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, said the court’s approval of June 16, 2021, for the bank to proceed with the registration of GTB HOLDCO despite knowledge of an application for injunctive orders by Innoson Nig Ltd in Suit No: FHC/EN/CS/161/2020 pending at the Federal High Court Enugu Division, was “an abuse of court process.”

Osigwe’s press statement further said, “Recall that in November 2020, Innoson Nigeria Ltd sought for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Corporate Affairs Commission from deregistering GTB as a public limited liability company and re-registering it as a private limited liability company until GTB pays the total outstanding judgment debt of N32,875,204,984.38. 

“While the case in the Enugu Division of Federal High Court is still pending, GTB against its corporate governance rules and in a classical abuse of court process, filed and got an ex parte order from Federal High Court, Lagos Division.

“The order was obtained without disclosing to the court that the subject-matter of its application is already sub-judice, because injunctive orders have been sought in Suit No:FHC/EN/CS/161/2020, as well as the subject-matter of this pending in Enugu Division of Federal High Court, to restrain GTB from proceeding with the said scheme both in a pending interlocutory and in the substantive suit already served on GTB,and they have filed a memorandum of appearance and other processes in the suit. 

“Innoson has therefore asked the Federal High Court to set aside and discharge the ex-parte order it granted GTB and a further order to stay further execution of the 16th of June 2021 order it granted it and also an order of the court to stay further recognition of Guaranty Trust Bank Holding Company Plc. as a financial or non-financial company and or as a legal entity.

“It is unfortunate that GTB has refused to pay over N32Billion judgment debt to Innoson Nig Ltd arising from suit Nos: FHC/L/Cs/603/2006 and No. FHC/Cs/139/2012, respectively. 

“It is interesting to state that no court in Nigeria has set aside the decisions of these judgment debts against GTB even though GTB has appealed both decisions to the Supreme Court. Rather, the decisions have been affirmed by the appellate courts in Appeal Nos. CA/I/258/2011, SC.694/2014, and in CA/E/288/2013, in which till date, GTB has refused to obey the Court of Appeal’s order that it pay the judgment debt, which is the subject of this particular appeal, into an interest yielding account.”