The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Guaranty Trust Bank to pay about N14 billion illegal charges allegedly deducted from the account of Innoson Nigeria Limited pending the determination of the substantive matter.
Counsel to Innoson, Prof McCarthy Mbadugha, told the court that the debt which arouse from excess and unlawful charges which GTBank deducted from Innoson’s account now stood at N14 billion.
In a statement released on Thursday by Innoson Group’s Head of Corporate Communications, Cornel Osigwe, the apex court struck out a motion filed by the bank for stay of execution of a December 2014 ruling of Enugu Court of Appeal which ordered Guaranty Trust Bank to pay a sum of N5.9 billion into an interest yeiding account.
The Court of Appeal Enugu Division had on December 9, 2014 ordered GTBank to pay the sum of N5,936,126,219.01k to the Deputy Chief Register of the Court within 14 days from the date of ruling and the Deputy Chief Register shall pay same into an interest yielding account in a reputable bank other than Diamond Bank or Mainstreet Bank Plc pending the determination of the appeal.
According to the ruling, the money together with whatever accrues thereon shall be paid to the party who wins the appeal.
GTBank, which was not satisfied with the decision of the ruling of Court of Appeal, filled a motion for stay of execution at the Supreme Court.
However, the Court struck out GTB motion and maintained that it would not entertain GTBank’s motion until it complies with the 2014 ruling of the Appeal Court.
By the Supreme Court decision, GTB is expected within 14 days, to pay the sum of over N14 billion judgment debt to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal Enugu Division and which will now be paid into an interest yielding account in a reputable bank.
The money together with whatever interest accrues thereon shall be paid to the party who wins the appeal.
But in a quick reaction, the bank denied that it was directed by the apex court to make any such payments.
A statement on Thursday by Erhi Obebeduo, GTB Company Secretary, which refused to mention the name of Innoson, stated that “There was no directive or Order issued by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Bank to make any payment to any of its debtor Customers”.
The statement went on to say it would not make “comments about on-going litigation matters and will continue to fOCUS on using legal means to recover its bad debts. It must be emphasised that the Bank remains undeterred in its recovery drive against recalcitrant debtors”.
The bank described the ‘debtor customer’ as “desperate and mischievous elements”, and called on members of the public to disregard the claims being made.
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