The battle between Guaranty Trust Bank and Innocent Chukwuma, chairman, Innoson Group, has taken a new dimension as the billionaire is optimistic of taking over the bank.
He said this during a briefing with journalists.
Chukwuma made the comment following the bank’s non payment of N32bn and the accrued interest owed him.
In 2019, Innoson Nigeria Limited 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.
The court in Ibadan had ordered GTB by way of Garnishee order absolute – to pay N2.4bn to Innoson with a 22% interest, per annum, on the judgment sum until the final liquidation of the judgment debt.
The decision was also upheld at the Supreme Court.
The businessman had also unsuccessfully tried to block the company’s restructuring into a holding company- Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO).
He explained to newsmen that the then MD and the new Chief Executive Officer of GTCO, Segun Agbaje, is responsible for escalating the case with the bank.
Chukwuma said, “I was GTBANK’s best customer in the South-East when Tayo, the former MD, was alive. Because of this, they opened a branch in Nnewi. After Tayo, the new MD took over. I don’t even know him. I saw him for the first time last year.
“They started fighting about tribe. I am not certain about this but I think the reason he (GTB) is fighting is because of tribe. I don’t know exactly what his problem is.
“But finally, I have proved him wrong in everything. I have defeated him in all the courts we went to. The only thing left is for him to pay me what he owes me.
“He was going to my account and taking money anyhow. I discovered it, took him to court and won. Up till now, he hasn’t paid and we have gone up to supreme court. Maybe he hasn’t paid because he wants Nigeria to change their law because of him.
“The beauty of the whole thing is that the money is attracting the interest of 22 percent. So, I am waiting for the interest to be above their capacity so I can take over the bank,” Chukuma said.
“That’s what I am waiting for. I am not disturbing them anymore. I am assuring all the customers of GTB that if I take over, I would still run it well. They shouldn’t fear. I haven’t done any business that fails.
“I will run it better than them. If they cannot pay me, I have no choice but to take over the management.”
The case started in 2012 when Innoson Nigeria Ltd was a customer of GTB Plc.
The company found out that GTB imposed and debited its current account with over N700m excess and unlawful charges.
The bank failed to refund the N700m to Innoson resulting to a law suit.