Business/Finance

I’d soon take over GT Bank – Innoson Motors CEO, Chukwuma

Access Bank
Chief Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma, the Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, have opened up on his travail with Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB).

A legal tussle which goes back to 2011 when Innoson Nigeria realised that GTBank had wrongly debited its account with charges in excess of N700million (then: $4.7million; now: $1.9million) but has dragged up to billions in Naira.

The Industrialist technocrat narrated how at the point of his transition from import business to manufacturing, the seizure of his goods by the Nigeria Customs and Excise nearly put him out of business.

He said: “I have done everything for Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) to settle me, but they refused and the judgment is earning 22 per cent interest, yet they do not care.

“I hope when the interest reaches the level more than what they have there, I will take over the bank. So, I am not worrying about them. Supreme Court judgement is final. They owe me an N32billion. By next year, 22 per cent of N32billion, I do not even know what it will be. I keep myself calm because I do not want to go beyond the law.

“But, let them be working but when the money reaches the level I know and I am sure I am the owner of the bank; I will come after them. I keep my judgement from the court and I am not worrying them, they are the ones filing papers because in all the court cases I won them. They have not come for negotiation.

“I had paid for three months when I won the customs case in the Federal High Court for auctioning my goods. The total money became N2.3billion. I got the garnishee order. Custom has N11billion in GTBank. I had garnishee order which led to garnishee absolute order. Garnishee absolute means that GTBank should take the amount owed from the customs account and pay Innoson.

“GTBank refused to pay, they said they cannot do it. They took customs to the court of appeal. The appeal court said the day I was given the garnishee order, customs had N11 billion with GTBank and that N2.3billion of the money was no longer their own and that it belongs to Innoson, they have to pay me my money. They went to the Supreme Court and by that time, the money was N4billion. By the time the case finished, that is the judgment of the court, the money had become N9.7billion.”

Chief Chukwuma explained that even after the Supreme Court ruled that GTB should pay him the money, as he was about to execute the order, “they (GTB) went to Supreme Court pleading for a stay of execution.

“When I stopped the execution, they went to Inspector General of Police, who invited me to settle the matter out of court. They planned to file a paper to stop me completely from executing the order on the N9.7billion. After the IGP spoke, I said I can accept N7billion, but they said they can only pay N4billion. I said they should pay an N6billion, but they said they can only pay an N5billion. I told them that if they cannot pay N6billion, they should call me when they are ready.

“They, then went to a court in Lagos to say that I forged, because the other case was discharged by EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) after my petition, only for them to go to Lagos and filed the case again. The case was in 40 days’ time, but they dropped it to three days without informing me, they did not serve me any notice.

“They said next court hearing if they did not see me, they will give me bench warrant. I wrote a petition against it. Then they recalled the file. They wanted me to accept N5billion, when I heard that they have issued me a bench warrant, that was their intention.

“Last November, Supreme Court discharged everything they filed so the bank is in my hand. Soon, you will see my write up, because I served GTBank today. I filed on how I will take over the bank. Upon service of the document at the bank, they refused to collect, so the boys began to do a video of the bank before they agreed to collect the court paper.”

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