Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Dr Innocent Chukwuma has reacted to Friday’s July 13th 2018 ruling of the Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal that Guaranty Trust Bank appeal can be heard and thereby neglecting the fact that the same Court had given a ruling on 9th December 2014 that GTBank cannot be heard in any appeal whatsoever until it complies with its ruling.
The Court of Appeal Enugu Division had on 9th December 2014 ordered that GTBank cannot be heard in any appeal until the appellant (GTB) pay the sum of Five Billion, Nine Hundred and thirty Six Million, One Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Nineteen Naira, One Kobo (N5,936,126,219.01k) to the Deputy Chief Register of the Court within 14 days from the date of ruling and which the Deputy Chief Register shall pay same into an interest yielding account in a reputable bank other than Diamond Bank or Mainstreet Bank Plc pending the determination of this appeal.
Friday’s decision at the Court of Appeal follows a motion by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Counsel to GTBank on 29th Jan 2015, seeking to amend its notice of appeal and which was opposed by Counsel to Innoson, Prof McCarthy Mbadugha on grounds that; GTB would not be heard until it complies with the court’s order of 9th December 2014 that it pays the judgment debt which now stands at over N14billion to the Deputy Chief Register of the Court which will pay same into an interest yielding account in a reputable bank, GTB’s motion to stay the execution of the order at the Supreme Court having been struck out on 7th June 2018; and that the court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain the appeal anymore, GTB appeal to Supreme court having been entered.
Mbadugha equally urged the Court to make an Order that the Appellant/Contemnor (GTBank) will not be heard in the Appeal and in any application whatsoever until it purges itself of the contempt by obeying the Honorable Court’s Order of 9th December, 2014 by paying the judgment debt of N5,936,126,219.01k (which as at today is over N14Billion) with the accrued interest thereon at 22% from 9th December, 2014 till the date of compliance with the said order to the Deputy Chief Register of the Court.
Mbadugha further argued that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the appeal given that the appellant’s appeal to the Supreme Court against the said Court of Appeal order made on 9th Dec 2014 has been transmitted/entered into the Supreme Court and by reason of Order 8 Rule 11 of the Supreme Court rules 1985 (as amended), the Court of Appeal lack the jurisdiction to entertain the appeal before it and any application in the appeal. Thus Prof Mbadugha urged the Court of Appeal to defer to the Supreme Court and transmit all the pending application to the Supreme Court.
Reacting to Friday ruling, Chief Chukwuma has instructed his Counsel, Prof McCarthy Mbadugha to immediately appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal granting the appellant leave to amend its notice of appeal despite its non-compliance with the courts earlier order that unless it pays the judgment debt into an interest yielding account, its appeal cannot be determined.
Chief Chukwuma believes that hearing GTB appeal at the Court of Appeal Enugu Division without GTB paying the N14Billion Judgment debt to the Court will render the Court’s initial ruling that GTBank pays the Judgment debt to Court nugatory and equally renders GTB’s appeal at the Supreme Court against the ruling an academic exercise.
Head, Corporate Communications