Innoson Group sues bank over frozen account dispute
AN indigenous group of company has slammed a N30b suit against the Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) at the Federal High Court, Awka.
The firm sued in a bid to get legal redress for alleged economic misfortune suffered as a result of frozen accounts in 15 different banks by means of ‘unjustifiable’ court order obtained by GTB against it.
The group comprises Innoson Nigeria Ltd, Innoson Technical and Industrial company, Innoson vehicle manufacturing company,and Innoson Autoparts manufacturing company.
According to its statement of claim filed on its behalf by a Professor MacCarthy Mbadugha, GTB obtained an order from a Federal High Court, Lagos in Septmeber 2014 frozing its account in 14 banks in Nigeria.
“On the 1st of September, 2014 GTB served on Innoson Nigeria Ltd a court order dated 1st of September 2014 in suit number FHC/L/CS/1119/2014 filed before a Federal high court in Lagos, between GTB and Innoson Nigeria Limited. It was issued by Justice Okon Abang ordering that pending the hearing and the determination of the substantive suit all commercial banks in Nigeria are restrained from accepting, honoring,or giving effect in any manner whatsoever to any mandate or instruction presented to them by Innoson group or any of its agents or nominees for withdrawal of any sum of money standing to the credit of any account maintained by the company in all the banks”, he stated.
In the said order of the court, the bank undertook to indemnify the company as to any loss that may be incurred in the unlikely event that the application ought not to have been granted.
The company operates current accounts in 15 banks out of 18 banks listed in the order.
The basis of the bank’s action against the company was that the company is alleged to be indebted to the bank in the sum of N1.5billion and that rather than the company repay the loan diverted same and was in the process of dissipating its assets in order to avoid repaying the loan. Based on this court order , all accounts of the companies were frozen.
However, on the 10th of June, 2015, based on an application and argument presented by Mbadugha that the order was obtained by the bank by suppression, concealment or failure to disclose material facts before the court to set aside the order, Justice Saliu Saidu set aside the order and as well as struck out the entire suit frozen the accounts of the plaintiffs. But, the applicant said before the order was set aside, the companies have incured monumental losses running into billions of Naira.