As embattled first generation bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, battles to redeem its battered image over N8.8 billion judgement debt, the management of Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Limited. has said the recent Supreme Court judgement is entirely against the bank.
IVM’s clarification becomes necessary following GTB’s attempt to deploy legal technicalities to confuse members of the public through a statement issued at the weekend.
According to the bank in a statement signed by Erhi Obebeduo, “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.”
Innoson in a statement signed it’s Head of Corporate Communication, Cornel Osigwe, claimed that GTB by this claim was nothing short of being economical with the truth.
According to IVM, “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 the judgment sum of N2.4 billion with a 22 per cent 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 proceeding, 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 29th July 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 order; in the circumstance, the order will be executed against GTB and no one else. Please, be guided accordingly.”