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Innoson Group: No warrant to arrest our CEO

Innoson Group: No warrant to arrest our CEO
November 06
00:08 2017

Innoson Group, indigenous automobile company, says there is no bench warrant to arrest Innocent Chukwuma, CEO of the company.

In a statement signed by Cornel Osigwe, head of corporate communications, the company said the police had withdrawn the charges against Chukwuma.

Osigwe also spoke on the lawsuit involving the company and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).

“Our attention has been drawn to a false publication on some news mediums purporting that the Nigeria Police applied for a bench warrant to arrest the boss of Innoson Motors, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, and we, as a result, deem it proper to respond and put the records straight,” the statement read.

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“At all material time, Innoson Nigeria Ltd. was a customer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Sometime in 2012 Innoson discovered that GTB imposed and debited its current account with over N700 million excess and unlawful charges. GTB failed and refused to refund the N700 million to Innoson.

“Consequently, Innoson commenced suit no:FHC/AWK/CS/139/2012 against GTB and thereat the court rendered judgment in the sum of N4.7 billion with 22% interest on the judgment debt until satisfaction of the judgment debt in favour of Innoson against GTB.

“GTB appealed to the court of appeal, Enugu division against the judgment in appeal No: CA/E/288/2013. However, on December 9, 2014, the court of appeal ordered GTB to pay the judgment debt, which then stood at over N6 billion, into an interest-yielding account in the name of the court.”

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According to the statement, the court of appeal of Ibadan division affirmed the decision of the federal high court and ordered GTB to pay N2.4 billion to Innoson.

“As at 2013/2014 the outstanding indebtedness of GTB to Innoson by reason of the judgment debts was over N8.5 billion. In its various affidavits, particularly at the court of appeal in appeal no: CA/E/288/2013, GTB deposed that if it pays the outstanding judgment debt of N6 billion, let alone the N8.5 billion, it will collapse and be out of business.

“Consequently, in order to save itself from paying the outstanding judgment debts to Innoson, it resorted to a fictitious petition and, in a characteristic manner, the trumped-up charge – charge no: FHC/L/565C/2015 – which was properly and competently withdrawn by the police on February 17, 2016.”

Innoson said it did not falsify shipping documents to obtain a N2.4 billion from GTB, explaining that it obtained a loan of N1.3 billion from the bank and it has since repaid the loan.

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“Innoson obtained, and had repaid same, a loan of N1.3 billion from GTB and secured same with a legal mortgage of its properties worthing over N1.4 billion,” it said.

“Innoson never did anything hidden, fraudulent or criminal in all its dealings with GTB. GTB is only looking for means to blackmail, hoodwink and force Innoson to forego its monetary judgment against it.

“This judgment debt as at today stood at over N10 billion. GTB’s strategy in this regard knows no limit. Recently, in a ploy to get the Supreme Court of Nigeria set aside the N2.4 billion judgment debt against it, it alleged through a motion in appeal no: SC/694/2014 that Innoson obtained the judgment in appeal no: CA/I/258/2011 by fraud but the Supreme Court in its wisdom, and rightly, dismissed that in May 2017.

“As a result, Innoson commenced a N400 billion suit against GTB in Suit No: FCT/HC/CV/2448/2017 at the high court, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

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“There is pending at the court of appeal an appeal on whether there is any charge at the federal high court, given the police withdrawal of the charge.”

 

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