N2.4bn debt: Hope for GTB as Supreme Court reverses decision




GTBank got a respite from the Supreme Court last week in a legal battle between it and Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited over a N2.4bn debt allegedly owed to the local auto maker and its Chairman, Chief Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma.

The Supreme Court on Friday reversed its earlier decision which dismissed an appeal by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) against a N2.4 billion judgment given in favour of Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited by the Court of Appeal in Ibadan, Oyo State.

In a judgment delivered by a five-member panel, led by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the court held unanimously that the Supreme Court erred when, in a ruling on February 27, 2019, it erroneously dismissed the appeal marked: SC/694/2014 filed by GTB.

In the lead judgment, written by Justice Tijani Abubakar, but read on Friday by Justice Abdu Aboki, the court held that it was misled by its Registry, which failed to promptly bring to the notice of the panel that it sat on the case on February 27, 2019, and that GTB had already filed its appellant’s brief of argument.

The Supreme Court said had the panel that sat on the case on February 27, 2019, been notified of the existence of the appellant’s brief of argument, it would not have given the ruling which dismissed GTB’s appeal on grounds of lack of diligent prosecution.

Relying on Order 8 Rules 16 of the Supreme Court’s Rules, Justice Abubakar, in the lead judgment, held that the apex court has the power to set aside its decision in certain circumstances, like any other court.

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