Innoson Nigeria Ltd. has reacted to statement credited to GT Bank, saying that the bank’s claim was nothing short of being economical with the truth.
Head of Corporate Communications, Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, in a statement, yesterday, said: “GTB, in a statement by Erhi Obebeduo, claimed that ‘the judgment allegedly in issue is in respect of Garnishee Proceedings against the account of the Nigerian Customs Service Board domiciled with the bank and not against the bank as an entity’. GTB by this claim is nothing short of being economical with the truth.
“The garnishee order absolute issued by the Federal High Court Ibadan in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/603/2006 ordered GTB to pay Innoson Nigeria Ltd N2.4 billion with a 22 percent interest, per annum, on the judgment sum until the final liquidation of the judgment.
“GTB appealed the Federal High Court’s decision up to the Supreme Court and lost. From the Supreme Court’s decision, you will find that the case was between GTB and Innoson Nigeria Ltd and no other person.
“For emphasis, 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.
“In this case, the order was made absolute since July 29, 2011 and GTB held unto the money from that time and is using for its business. It follows that by the time the order was made absolute, it was no more the judgment debtor’s money but rather that of Innoson Nigeria Ltd who is the judgment creditor; if a garnishee refuses to comply with the order, then, it becomes a judgment debtor, as GTB has become in the present case, against whom execution of the order will issue. Therefore, there is no merit or force in the GTB’s press statement.
“Furthermore and interestingly, the Garnishee order absolute was against GTB and no one else; and it is only GTB and no one else that will comply with the other; in the circumstance, the order will be executed against GTB and no one else. Please, be guided accordingly.”
GTBank had, in a statement, raised the alarm that Innoson Group of companies was wrongly executing a court judgment by sealing some of its branches in the South-East.
The Bank in a statement on Friday said that the issue it has in contention with the manufacturing conglomerate was with account of Nigeria Custom Service that is domicile with the bank and not against GTbank as an entity.
The bank, however, pledged to continue providing best-in-class customer experience service to its valued customers, noting that there was no cause for panic.
GTbank said: “The attention of GTBank has been drawn to statements circulating in the news and social media in respect of a purported enforcement of a judgment of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, at one of its branches in Anambra State.
“The bank, as a law-abiding corporate citizen, is taking all necessary legal steps to address this situation and to ensure that no illegal or fraudulent execution is carried out.
“It is important to state that the judgment allegedly in issue is in respect of garnishee proceedings against the account of the Nigerian Custom Service board domiciled with the bank and not against the bank as an entity.
“The bank remains committed to providing the best-in-class customer experience to all its valued customers.”