Innoson : GTBank’s Chairman, MD risk imprisonment over alleged contempt
The Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), Segun Agbaje, its Chairman, Mrs Osaretin Demuren and the Company Secretary, Erhi Obebeduo, are expected to physically appear before the Federal High Court Awka, to show cause why they should not be committed for contempt and sent to prison.
The trio were accused of alleged deliberate, wanton and unlawful violation of the subsisting Orders of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court, Awka division and for interfering with or obstructing due administration of Justice as epitomized by alleged acts of hooliganism, thuggery, extreme lawlessness and condemnable impunity exhibited by them on the 29th and 30th of March, 2019 and on the 1st of April 2019.
The relief is contained in an application filed before the court by Counsel to Innoson Nigeria Ltd, Prof McCarthy Mbadugha Esq, against Guaranty Trust Bank for “breaking into all the properties of GTB which have been distressed and seized by the Court bailiffs/sheriffs while executing a writ of fifa issued by the Court”.
Prof Mbadugha had obtained from the Court the requisite leave and necessary process for levying execution – the writ of fifa against GTB who failed to obey the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal’s Order affirming the Garnishee order absolute issued by the Federal High Court Ibadan in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/603/2006 – ordering the bank to pay Innoson Nigeria Ltd the judgment sum of N2.4 Billion with a 22% interest, per annum, on the judgment sum until the final liquidation of the judgment.
The Judgment debt of N2.4billion has an accrued interest of over N6.7Billion as at today, thereby resulting in the total outstanding judgment debt being over N9 Billon as at today.
Innoson argued that GTB allegedly in company of thugs and hoodlums procured by the cited parties – Segun Agbaje, Mrs Osaretin Demuren, Erhi Obebeduo – obstructed the Court bailiffs/Sheriffs from executing the orders of the Court and also un-distressed and released from seizures all the properties of the banks seized and attached by the bailiffs/sheriffs.
Cornel Osigwe, Innoson Group Head Corporate Communications, in a statement on Wednesday, said “these acts were in furtherance and in realization of the bank’s Press Release on 29th March 2019 that the execution is illegal and fraudulent and that it will resist it by any means necessary”.
Innoson Nig Ltd through its counsel, in its Motion on Notice, has sought the following prayers, among others:
– An ORDER of this Honourable Court commanding and or mandating the appearance of the cited parties on a day, date, time and venue as may be deemed fit by this Honourable Court to physically appear and show CAUSE why they should not be committed for contempt and sent to PRISON for the wilful, deliberate, wanton and unlawful violation of the subsisting Orders of this Honourable Court and or interfering with or obstructing the court’s due administration of Justice as epitomized by acts of hooliganism, thuggery, extreme lawlessness and condemnable impunity as exhibited on the 29th and 30th of March, 2019 and on the 1st April, 2019.
– AN ORDER that the acts of thuggery, extreme hooliganism and outright lawlessness of the garnishee/debtor and or the parties cited in this application in breaking into all the properties of the garnishee/debtor distressed, attached and seized by the bailiffs/sheriffs of the Honourable Court pursuant to a writ of fifa issued by the Honourable Court for that purpose and retrieved those properties, undistressed as well as released them from attachment and or seizure amounts to a grievous contempt of this Honourable Court of the worst specie.
– AN ORDER that the acts of thuggery, extreme hooliganism and outright lawlessness of the cited parties in obstructing and in stopping the Sheriffs/bailiffs of the Honourable Court from attaching, seizing and distressing the properties of the Garnishee/Debtor amounts to wilful and contemptuous violation of the subsisting orders of this Honourable Court as well as obstructing and interfering with the course of justice and due administration of justice.
– AN ORDER denying the Garnishee/Debtor, the cited parties – contemnors – or any other person affiliated or related to them, their counsel further or other audience or an opportunity to seek judicial intervention or palliatives before this Honourable Court – or any other Court of the Federal High Court until they purge themselves of contempt.