Nigeria’s first indigenous automobile manufacturer, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, has slammed a N30 billion suit against Guarantee Trust Bank, GTB, as a result of damages the company suffered following an ex parte order of Mareva Injunction, which GTB applied and obtained, freezing Innoson’s accounts in all the banks in Nigeria.
However, on June 10, Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in a considered ruling set aside the ex parte order of September 1, 2014 and the writ of summons as well. The running legal battle between Innoson and GTB started when Innoson challenged the action of Nigerian Customs Service for auctioning its goods.
In a Garnishee Order Absolute, the court had ordered GTB to pay Innoson N2,048,737,443.67 from Customs account. Rather than comply with the Garnishee Order Absolute of the court, GTB on February 6, 2015 appealed the judgment, but the Court of Appeal in Appeal no. CA/1/258/2011 affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court and ordered GTB to pay the judgment debt of N2,048,737,443.67 to Innoson.
GTB, instead, appealed to the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal’s decision. In another suit, Innoson sued GTB for imposing excess and unlawful charges on the company’s account with the bank amounting to N559 million. The trial court gave a N4.7 billion judgment in favour of Innoson.
GTB subsequently appealed the judgment of the Awka High Court, but the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, upheld the judgment and ordered GTB to pay the judgment debt, which stood at over N5.7 billion, into an interest-yielding account in the name of the Chief Regi-strar of the Court of Appeal. However, GTB has appealed to the Supreme Court.