More revelations have emerged over the ongoing crisis between billionaire owner of Innoson Nigeria Limited and GTbank over the N559m excess charges levelled against the bank.
In-depth investigation into the claim by Chief Innocent Chukwuma, the owner of Innoson Nigeria Limited, that the sum of N559,374,072.09 was withdrawn from his account by GTB is appearing to be a far exagerattion of the truth as documents emerging from the court and law enforcement agents is proving otherwise.
It would be recalled that Chief Innocent Chukwuma had claimed that GTB withdrew from his account the sum of N559,374,072.09 in excess charges. It was on the basis of this claim that Innoson acquired judgment to the tune of N4.7bn from the Federal High Court Awka. At first glance, one could assume the bank debited funds in Innosons account but in the real sense, the N559m represent the interest portion of the N2.4bn loan that he took from the Bank.
Below is the actual fact of the matter:
The History of the N559 Million Excessive Charge Claim by Innoson
In December 31, 2011, Innoson’s account with the bank was in debit of N1,654,481,895.04 (one billion, six hundred and fifty-four million, four hundred and eighty-one thousand, eight hundred and ninety-five Naira, four Kobo only). This means that rather than having money in his account, Innoson was owing the bank this amount as debt for loan which he had collected. However, the EFCC tried to broker a settlement between the Innoson and GTB, which would involve the settlement of Innoson’s indebtedness to the Bank, in view of the fact that Innoson had fraudulently acquired Imported Goods bought solely in the bank’s name.
During the criminal investigation, EFCC got an independent party to reconcile the accounts of Innoson with the Bank. Upon conclusion of the reconciliation, the independent third party’s view was that the indebtedness of Innoson was N1.09billion and that the sum of … were default interest accrued on the loan. However, in the spirit of resolving the issues amicably, the Bank agreed to forgive Innoson of the default accrued interest, so long as Innoson paid, within 30 days, the sum of N1,095,107,822.95 as full and final payment of his indebtedness to the Bank. Innoson agreed and requested for a letter to that effect. Here is the letter GTB sent to Mr Innocent Chukwuma, owner of Innoson, in September 2012:
INDEBTEDNESS OF INNOSON NIGERIA LIMITED
We refer to the indebtedness of Innoson Nigeria Limited (“the Customer”) to Guaranty Trust Bank plc (“the Bank”), secured by your Personal Guarantee which by our records was N1,654,481,895.04 (one billion, six hundred and fifty-four million, four hundred and eighty-one thousand, eight hundred and ninety-five Naira, four Kobo only) as at December 31, 2011. In addition, we refer to the reconciliation that has been conducted between representatives of the Customer and the Bank, further to which the sum of N1,095,107,822.95 (one billion, ninety-five million, one hundred and seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty-two Naira, ninety-five Kobo only) was agreed as the reconciled indebtedness of the Customer to the Bank, having deducted alleged excess charges.
As you are aware, the above sum of N1,095,107,822.95 (one billion, ninety-five million, one hundred and seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty-two Naira, ninety-five Kobo only) is the reconciled indebtedness of the Customer to the Bank as at December 31, 2011, and the Bank is entitled to charge interest in accordance with terms indicated in the underlying facility agreements from January 2012 to date.
However, the Bank has decided, in the spirit of amicable resolution, to accept from the Customer, or from you in pursuance of your Personal Guarantee, the said sum of N1,095,107,822.95 (one billion, ninety-five million, one hundred and seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty-two Naira, ninety-five Kobo only) in full and final payment of the Customer’s indebtedness to the Bank, provided that same shall be fully paid not later than thirty (30) days from the date of this letter.
Please note that in the event of failure by the Customer and you, in pursuance of your Personal Guarantee, to fully pay as herein advised, the Bank will be constrained, to reverse the concession herein granted, and charge interest appropriately on the said conceded indebtedness of N1,095,107,822.95 (one billion, ninety-five million, one hundred and seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty-two Naira, ninety-five Kobo only) from January 2012, until same is fully paid. The Bank shall thereafter be constrained to commence recovery steps against you as Guarantor, to ensure the recovery of the said indebtedness without further recourse to you”.