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N32bn debt: Innoson asks court to set aside order on GT Bank’s restructuring

By JAMES NWABUEZE

Innoson Nigeria Limited has asked the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos State, to set aside its ex-parte order sanctioning Guarantee Trust (GT) Bank to undergo restructuring to a holding company.

This, according to the company, is to ensure the bank pays its total outstanding judgment debt of N32.9 billion it currently owes.

Innoson’s prayer was contained in a motion-on-notice brought before the court by counsel to Innoson Nigeria Ltd, Chukwuebuka I Okolo Esq of McCarthy Mbadugha & Co. seeking an order of the court to discharge and set aside the ex-parte order granted to the financial institution on 16th of June 2021 and to set aside every step the bank took pursuant to the said ex-parte order.

The two companies are currently engaged in a long-running legal battle over the judgement debt.

GT Bank had in November 2020, obtained an approval in principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to commence a formal process for restructuring to a financial holding company

In response to the development, Innoson Nigeria Ltd sought for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Corporate Affairs Commission from deregistering the financial institution as a public limited liability company and re-registering it as a private limited liability company until it pays the total outstanding judgment debt.

In a statement issued in Nnewi, Innoson Corporate Communications Head, Cornel Osigwe explained that  while the case in the Enugu Division of Federal High Court was still pending, the bank against its corporate governance rules and in a classical abuse of court process filed and got an ex-parte order from Federal High Court, Lagos Division, without disclosing to the court that the subject matter of its application was already in court because injunctive orders had been sought in Suit No:FHC/EN/CS/161/2020, as well as the subject matter of suit pending in the Enugu Division of Federal High Court, to restrain GT Bank from proceeding with the said scheme both in a pending interlocutory and in the substantive suit already served on GT Bank and they have filed a memorandum of appearance and other processes in the suit.

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