N32bn Debt : Innoson Asks Court To Stop GTBank’s Transformation - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

Breaking

Ads

Monday, July 12, 2021

N32bn Debt : Innoson Asks Court To Stop GTBank’s Transformation




The Daily Crucible 

Nigerian vehicle manufacturer -
Innoson Nigeria Ltd,  has prayed a federal high court in Lagos to set aside an order granting Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) permission to transform to a holding company.

Innoson Nigeria Ltd claimed it is taking the step to recover a judgment debt of over N32bn the GTbank owed her. 

A statement on Sunday emanating from  Cornel Osigwe, head of corporate communications and affairs at Innoson Group, stated that the company is asking the court to stay the order granted to the bank on June 16, 2021, “until it pays its total outstanding judgment debt of N32,875,204,984.38 to Innoson Nigeria Ltd.”

The Daily Crucible recalls that Innoson and GTB have been entangled in a long drawn business dispute culminating in an epic legal battle in court.

The vehicle manufacturer had secured judgment debt against GTbank in suit FHC/L/Cs/603/2006 and FHC/Cs/139/2012 respectively, a debt that had climbed to over N32 billion following years of accumulated interest.

In November 2020, GTB had obtained an approval-in-principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to commence a formal process of restructuring to a financial holding company (holdco).

Also,  in June this year,  the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group) listed Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GT HoldCo) after meeting all the requirements for the new listing.

But in a motion on notice brought before the court by Chukwuebuka Okolo, counsel to Innoson Nigeria Ltd,  the plaintiff is asking the court to set aside every step the bank had taken pursuant to the said ex parte order granted in November 2020, even as it prayed 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.”

It reckoned in the statement that GTB’s action constitutes an abuse of court process, knowing that there is an already pending application in suit No: FHC/EN/CS/161/2020 by Innoson before a federal high court in Enugu to restrain it from transmuting to a private and or a financial holding company until it pays the judgment debt.

The statement reads: “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 the federal high court, Lagos division and without disclosing to the court that the subject matter of its application is already subjudice 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 the federal high court, to restrain GTB from proceeding with the said scheme both in a pending interlocutory and in the substantive suit.” 

In the referred suit in Enugu, Innoson Nigeria Limited, had asked the Federal High Court to stop Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) Plc from changing its legal status from a public limited liability company until it pays over N32 billion allegedly owed Innoson.

Innoson Nigeria Ltd is worried that with the bank’s move to transmute its legal status, it may be difficult collecting the judgement debt and elected to approach a Federal High Court in Enugu to halt the process.

In the suit filed on November 23 with suit number FHC/EN/CS/161/2020, the company sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the CAC from deregistering the GTB as a public limited liability company and or re-registering the bank as a private limited liability until GTB pays the company outstanding judgment debt of N32, 875, 204, 984.38k arising from Suit Nos: FHC/L/CS/603/2006 and No. FHC/AWK/CS/139/2012 respectively affirmed by the appellate courts.

Innoson Nigeria Ltd also wants the court to issue an order “cancelling the 1st Defendant’s (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–the 1st Defendant (GTB)–pays Innoson Nig Ltd the total outstanding judgment debt of N32, 875, 204, 984.38k (Thirty two Billion, Eight Hundred and seventy Five Million, Two Hundred and four thousand, Nine Hundred and Eight Four Naira, Thirty Eight kobo) arising from suit Nos. 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.”

The company also wants the court to issue an order setting aside the No-objection certification issued by SEC on GTB’s proposal to be re-registered as a private limited liability company and as a holding or a holding financial company.

The suit also wants the court to quash the approval-in-principle granted to the bank to operate as a holding or a holding financial company by the CBN.

The fifth prayer in the suit is for “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 2nd Defendant from granting the 1st Defendant a financial holding company license and or a final approval to operate or carry on business as a financial holding company whether in its present name or as a private limited liability company until it, the 1st Defendant pays the Plaintiff the total outstanding judgement debt of N32, 875, 204, 984. 38k (Thirty Two Billion, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Two Hundred and Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty-Four Naira, Thirty-Eight Kobo) arising from suit Nos. 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.”

No comments:

Post a Comment