Sealing Of GTB Branches A Victory For Rule Of Law–Activists

Tayo Olanipekun

The Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) has described the sealing of some branches of the Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) by Innoson Motors as “a good one for the development of law in Nigeria.”

CRRAN said business corporations in Nigeria have always believed that they are “separate entities not subject to the Rule of Law and the Laws of the land.”

According to a statement signed by CRAN President, Olu Omotayo Esq., management of the GTB knew after the decision of the Federal High Court that “they were on the wrong side” but failed to honorably call for settlement and resolve the matter.

It is recalled that on Friday, Innoson Nigeria Limited  announced that it obtained a writ of Fifa from the Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, against GTB to effect the judgment given by the Federal High Court in Ibadan and upheld by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“They foolishly followed the wrong advice of their legal team and appealed to the Court of Appeal which affirmed the decision of the lower court,” said CRRAN about GTB. “Still believing that magic will be done at the Supreme Court, they approached it and the decision of the apex court was not only disastrous for the bank but a calamity which wiped away its business reputation if any at all remaining,”

The Supreme Court presided over by the Learned Jurist Bode Rhodes Vivour upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal and gave what  CRRAN called “a final and decent burial to whatever defense the bank thought it had.”

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GTB, on Friday night, said its attention had been drawn to “statements circulating in the news and social media in respect of a purported enforcement of a judgement of the Federal High court, Ibadan, Oyo state, 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 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 a Garnishee Proceedings against the account of the  Nigerian Customs Service Board domiciled with the Bank and not against the Bank as an entity.”

CRRAN, however, lampooned GTB, saying “the management of the bank have learnt their lesson in a hard way. They are not good managers at all if not they would not have allowed the 22 per cent interest based on the judgment of the High court to continue running and embarked on the the frivolous and useless voyage to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

“The bank did not know that a bad case remains a bad case no matter the number of senior advocates you hired.
The over N10 billion Naira debt which was formally a little over N2 billion will now be paid from the shareholders investment.”

Commending the owner of Inoson Motors, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, for the “courage and the tenacity” with which he  pursued the case, Omotayo said “in normal clime, the Chairman of the bank would have honorably resigned.”

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