Stallion Nigeria: GTB Violates Court Judgement over ‘Dispute’ Debt
Following a move to seize Stallion Nigeria’s asset over N13 billion debt in dispute, the federal high court on Monday held that Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) was in violation of the consent judgment entered by the court on December 17, 2019.
On that note, the court proceeded to set aside the purported execution carried out by the bank on February 1, 2023. The United Kingdom subsidiary of the group was recently fined by regulators for an anti-money laundering control infraction for the sum of 7.6 million pounds >>UK Fines GTBank £7.6m over Money Laundering Controls
The financial service company is also having issues with Innoson group in another N32 billion debt controversy that has lingered for a long time>>> Innoson Vs GTBank Fraud Case
At the proceeding, Justice Ambrose Lewis Alagoa of the Federal high court in Lagos has set aside a purported execution carried out by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc against Stallion Nigeria Limited over an alleged N13 billion judgement debt.
Justice Alagoa held that GTBank was in violation of the Consent Judgment entered by the Court on 17 December 2019 and proceeded to set aside the purported execution carried out by the bank.
Ruling on an application filed by the law firms of Kanu Agabi & Associates, Wahab Shittu SAN and Bonajo Badejo & Co. on behalf of Stallion, the court held that the execution, which was purportedly done, while the Court was yet to determine the timeline for the completion of the forensic audit pursuant to the consent Judgment of the Court, was wrongful and done with the intention to undermine the proceedings before the Court.
The Court of Appeal presided over by Justices Daniel-Kalio Sirajo, had previously delivered judgment in favour of Stallion Nigeria against GTBank on 24 February 2022 and set aside the ruling of Justice Saidu in favour of GTBank.
The Court held that GTBank could not rely on its own breach of the judgment to act or levy execution against the assets of Stallion Nigeria. Also, the Court held that the execution, which was purportedly carried out on 1st February 2023 and subsequent steps by the bank was not authorised by the Court.
The court proceeded to set aside “any and every step taken by GTBank before, on or after 1 February 2023 in purported execution of the Consent Judgment of the Court dated 17 December 2019, in the light of the Judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 24 February 2022 in favour of Stallion Nigeria.”
Recall that on 1st February 2023 GTB relied on the ex-parte order granted by Justice Saidu on 2nd December 2019, and the subsequent consent Judgment, and tried to enter one of Stallion’s properties in Victoria Island, Lagos. GTBank takes possession of Stallion Nigeria’s assets over N13bn judgement debt
Stallion Nigeria in its application, which was granted by the Court had contended that the preliminary KPMG forensic audit report had established that GTB overcharged Stallion, in excess of N4,693,625,637.49.
Stallion Nigeria contends that it is not owing GTB any longer and that on the contrary, it is on record that it has paid more than what was outstanding to GTB by N6,423,700,000.
Meanwhile, GTBank has approached the Court of Appeal, Lagos division, seeking an order of stay against the ruling of Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa.
Dissatisfied with Justice Lewis-Allagoa’s ruling, the judgment creditors have filed a notice of appeal and urged the court to set aside the ruling of the lower court. The Appellants through their lawyer, Temilolu Adamolekun, listed four grounds for the appeal.
“The learned trial Judge erred in law when he made an Order setting aside the execution of the Consent Judgment of the 17th of December, 2019 carried out on the 1st of February, 2023, where there was no appeal against the Consent Judgment, no Motion for Stay of Execution of the Consent Judgment, no Order staying the execution of the Consent Judgment”, the Appellants stated.
“The learned Trial Judge misdirected himself in law when he held that the Appellants ought not to have executed the Consent Judgment of 17th of December, 2019 carried out on the of February, 2023, in view of the pendency of the Application for Extension of time before the Lower Court dated 8th December 2022 to complete the Audit Report, that was pending before the Court, thereby amending/inserting an extraneous condition for the enforcement of the Consent judgment 17th December, 2019, which the Court had no jurisdictional power to do.
“The learned trial judge erred in law when he set aside the execution of the Consent Judgment on the basis that the Appellants did not apply for a Positive Order for the enforcement of the execution where in reality the Consent Judgment already provided for the enforcement of the Consent Judgment, where there is a breach of any of the terms of the Consent Judgment.”
“An order of injunction pending appeal restraining the Inspector-General Of Police, Assistant Inspector-General Of Police, Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos; The Commissioner Of Police, Lagos State Command, Ikeja, Lagos, their Deputies, officers from assisting the 1st to 8th Respondents in enforcing the Order of any Orders from or contained in the Ruling delivered on. #Stallion Nigeria: GTB Violates Court Judgement over ‘Dispute’ Debt