In a statement of financial standing, GTB declared N120bn profit before taxes in 2015. The insinuation that they would go bankrupt for a judgement of N10bn in favour of Mr. Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Motors is preposterous.
That said, it’s important that we separate GTB service personality from its business and possibly political personality. There seems to be a lot going on that has nothing to do with their almost perfect service structure. As much as we applaud their dexterity, this Innoson case may be an opportunity to see the “monster behind the circus show”.
Proshare NG’s article titled “Innoson group Vs GTBank: 30 Key Points you need to know about their dispute” would give a good background to the follow up comments on this post.
In two separate cases, GTB showed contempt for an obviously aggrieved Innoson.
– In the Nnewi branch case, Innoson’s audit showed over N700m in wrong charges but they conceded to N500m audit report by GTB’s assigned auditor. They only asked to be paid the same interest as they had been paying as customers of the bank. This in my opinion is just fair. The bank refused and the court case escalated to a N8.5bn (interest judgement against GTB.
– In Ibadan the court had ordered GTbank to pay Innoson about #2billion from the Nigerian Customs account. GTBank appealed the judgement. This again escalated into a #400 billion suit against the bank.
Notice that the judgement was against Nigerian Customs and not GTBank. When did GTBank become a representative of a federal entity?
Aside the two cases of contempt GTBank seems to have a record of bully tactics. It filed a fraud petition with the police in 2015 against Innoson. This was done without evidence as the case against him was dropped for the same reason.
In 2014 had secured an ex parte order to mandate Innoson bankers to refrain from financial transactions with the company pending their court case. How does a case with GTBank translate to a case with all banks?
Again, Innoson filed another N30 billion suit against the bank for financial losses they allegedly incurred based on the ex parte order.
Where is the Politics in this?
Remember the Nigeria Customs Case? Good. Now let’s talk about EFCC. According to reports by premium times Mr. Innocent Chukwuma was arrested for ignoring an invitation about a case.
Now which case might this be? An investigation by the Capital Market and Insurance fraud unit. The Capital Market is no other place than the Clubhouse for banks and publicly trading companies; it’s where all the money is raised. Maybe it’s just coincidence that just at this time when GTB has to answer to several manipulative ploys, there is suddenly a Capital Market fraud case. Or maybe someone knows someone that could threaten Innoson’s boss with a Capital Market and Insurance fraud case.
All of these are open ended questions. Readers should make their own deductions.
At this point, one would wonder why the case between a bank and business man turned into a tribal war. That is one of the major signs of an ongoing political tussle in Nigeria. Once a few selfish politicians are getting at each other’s throats, one or both parties would find a way to rouse tribal and religious sentiments.
The sad part of this mess is that Nigerians are ever ready to jump on this horse and ride it. The moment the slightest connection to tribe or religion is implied, the flames of dissent and discord become a raging inferno. People lose their sanity and start fighting battles that have absolutely nothing to do with them. That is the final piece of this puzzle. Is GTB our friendly neighbourhood banker or a political tyrant camouflaging as one?
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