By News Desk
The Socio-Cultural Organization of Igbos, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has hailed what it called the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case between Innoson Group of Companies and Guaranty Trust Bank.
Ohanaeze may be congratulating Innoson too soon as GTBank in a statement said the story of a Supreme Court judgment against it was false.
GTB described as mischievous and malicious the story circulating in the news and social media in respect of a purported directive by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Bank to make payments to one of its debtor Customers.
“The Bank’s Customers and the General Public are hereby kindly urged to disregard these false statements as nothing could be further from the truth. There was no directive or Order issued by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Bank to make any payment to any of its debtor Customers.
“The Bank as a highly responsible corporate citizen will in accordance with its culture and tradition refrain from making comments about on-going litigation matters and will continue to focus on using legal means to recover its bad debts. It must be emphasised that the Bank remains undeterred in its recovery drive against recalcitrant debtors.
“We again reiterate that there is no iota of truth in the falsehood being peddled by desperate and mischievous elements and the General Public should disregard same in its entirety.”, the bank said.
Ohanaeze’s commendation to Innoson was made in a statement released in Abuja on Monday by Chief Emeka Attamah, Media Adviser to its President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo.
In the statement, Nwodo said that by the judgment, the apex court refused to be used in an ethnic warfare to thwart Innoson of a judicial victory at the Court of Appeal.
“The judgment of the Supreme Court has shown that the judiciary remains the last bastion of hope for the common man.
“It is victory for democracy and an indication that there is still hope for the country.’’
He said that it was obvious that some vested interests were colluding with the EFCC to deny Innoson of his rights and to tarnish his well-earned reputation as a foremost manufacturer and investor in the country.
The president-general ascribed Innoson’s travails to the systematic harassment and intimidation of Igbo sons and daughters in the country due to ethnic sentiments.
He recalled the traumatic experiences of other Igbo sons, including Chief Cletus Ibeto and Chief Ifeanyi Uba, whose businesses were almost grounded by their detractors, but for their tenacity and shrewd business acumen.
“Ohanaeze commended the fighting spirit of Chief Innocent Chukwuma, the CEO of Innoson Group of Companies, for his doggedness and courage notwithstanding attempts to intimidate him with trumped-up criminal charges.
“No amount of intimidation or harassment will dampen the zeal of Ndigbo for a united Nigeria.
“It will only ginger them on in the fight for a restructured nation where every individual will be free to pursue his legitimate aspirations and businesses in a healthy, competitive atmosphere,’’ he said.
Nwodo called on the bank involved to obey the court order and pay the stipulated amount without delay to restore the confidence of the people in it.