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Court orders GTbank to pay Innoson N14bn over illegal charges

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By Odunewu Segun
 
The Supreme on Thursday struck out an application by Guarantee Trust Bank (GTBank) asking for a stay of execution of the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Enugu which ordered the bank to pay N6 billion into an interest yielding account controlled by the court in its suit against Innoson Motors.
The conflict between the bank and the indigenous vehicle producing company was over a loan the bank gave to Innoson which turned awry.
While the bank claimed that the Innoson is owning, Innoson on the contrary claimed that it was the bank that owes it through illegal charges it deducted from its account.
A fresh twist was however added to the litigation in 2017 when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) stepped into the matter by charging Innoson Motors and its Chairman, Innocent Chukwuma before a Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos, for forgery.
EFCC charges was based on a petition of GTBank claiming that Chukwuma forged documents of importation in its possession.
All efforts by EFCC to arraign Chukwuma for the crime proved abortive as the defendant filed applications notifying the court of the pending case before the Supreme Court.
At the last adjourned date on May 24, 2018, Justice Dada ordered EFCC to declare Chukwuma wanted. Chukwuma on the same day accused the judge of embarrassing him.
Innoson’s legal team which was led by Prof. McCarthy Mbadugha ESQ however told the Supreme Court that the Judgment debt which arose from excess and unlawful charges which GTB took from Innoson’s account now stood at over N14billion.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck out GTBank’s motion for stay of execution of the Enugu Court of Appeal Division’s order that GTBank pays over N6 billion into an interest yielding account at the Court of Appeal.
Innoson’s legal team which was led by Prof. McCarthy Mbadugha ESQ however told the Supreme Court that the Judgment debt which arose from excess and unlawful charges which GTB took from Innoson’s account now stood at over N14billion.
GTBank is expected to comply with the decision of the Apex Court within 14 days as specified by the Court of Appeal. It is not clear whether the bank will also have to pay accrued interest as specified by the appellate court.

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