The Innoson Motors case with GTBank in the Supreme Court has been a long-standing legal battle between the Nigerian automobile manufacturer, Innoson Group, and the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank). The case revolves around a dispute over a N2.1 billion loan facility granted by GTBank to Innoson’s subsidiary, Innoson Nigeria Limited (INL), in 2008.

In 2011, GTBank accused INL of defaulting on the loan repayment and commenced legal action to recover the outstanding balance. Innoson Group responded by filing a counterclaim against GTBank, alleging that the bank had unlawfully seized and sold some of its vehicles and equipment to recover the debt.

The case went through several lower courts, with both parties securing varying judgments in their favor. However, in April 2019, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in favor of Innoson Group, setting aside the judgments of the lower courts and ordering GTBank to pay N1.65 billion in damages to Innoson.

The Supreme Court held that GTBank’s actions in seizing and selling Innoson’s vehicles and equipment were unlawful and constituted a breach of its customer’s rights under the Consumer Protection Council Act. The court also criticized GTBank for its failure to follow due process in recovering the debt and for its mishandling of the case during the trial.

The judgment has been hailed as a victory for Innoson Group, which has been embroiled in several legal battles with banks over alleged wrongful seizure of its assets. It has also been seen as a landmark decision that reinforces the importance of consumer protection rights in Nigeria’s banking sector.

However, GTBank has stated that it will be appealing the Supreme Court’s decision, citing errors in the judgment and alleging that Innoson Group had failed to repay the loan as agreed. The bank has also accused Innoson Group of engaging in frivolous litigation to avoid repaying its debts.

The case is expected to continue in the courts as both parties seek to defend their positions. It remains to be seen whether GTBank will succeed in overturning the Supreme Court’s decision or whether Innoson Group will be able to enforce its judgment against the bank. Regardless of the outcome, the case has highlighted the need for banks to adhere to due process and consumer protection laws when dealing with their customers.

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