Chairman of Innoson Group of Companies, Innocent Chukwuma says he is gearing up to take over the management and assets of Guaranty Trust Bank, now Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO Plc), when the debt being owed him by the financial institution surpasses its capacity.
He stated this during an interaction with the media on Tuesday.
Chukwuma said that the bank is owing Innoson N32 billion after a lengthy legal tussle that terminated at the Supreme Court.
Innoson had secured judgement debts against GTBank in suit FHC/L/Cs/603/2006 and FHC/Cs/139/2012 respectively, with the total sum rising to N32 billion due to accumulated interests.
GTBank successfully transitioned to Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO Plc) in July, a move Innoson claimed was to avoid paying “its total outstanding judgment debt of N32,875,204,984.38”.
But addressing the media on Tuesday, Chukwuma said that he would take over the bank at the appropriate time.
He recalled that he had a cordial relationship with former Managing Director of GTBank, Tayo Aderinokun, who died after a protracted illness in 2011.
This relationship, he said, led to the bank establishing a branch in Nnewi, Anambra State.
He maintained that since Aderinokun’s exit, his relationship with the bank has been frosty.
Chukwuma said, “I was GTBANK’s best customer in the south-east when Tayo, the former MD, was alive. Because of this, they opened a branch in Nnewi. After Tayo, the new MD took over. I don’t even know him. I saw him for the first time last year.
“They (new MD) started fighting me. I don’t know exactly what his problem is.
“But finally, I have proved him wrong in everything. I have defeated him in all the courts we went to. The only thing left is for him to pay what he owes me.
“He was going to my account and taking money anyhow. I discovered it, took him to court and won. Up till now, he hasn’t paid and we have gone up to Supreme Court. Maybe he hasn’t paid because he wants Nigeria to change their law because of him.”
He vowed to no longer “disturb” the bank over the judgement debt until such a time as the bank no longer has the capacity to pay the principal amount plus 22 percent accrued interest.
“The beauty of the whole thing is that the money is attracting the interest of 22 percent. So, I am waiting for the interest to be above their capacity so I can take over the bank.
“That’s what I am waiting for. I am not disturbing them anymore. I am assuring all the customers of GTB that if I take over, I would still run it well. They shouldn’t fear. I haven’t done any business that fails.
“I will run it better than them. If they cannot pay me, I have no choice but to take over the management,” Chukwuma said.