By Rick Nwanso
Guaranty Trust Bank loaned Innoson Nigeria Limited N2.4bn to import spare parts for his company. As part of the loan agreement, GTBank was the exclusive owner of the Imported Goods. Innoson also agreed that for him to collect the imported goods from GTBank, he would pay 25% of the loan amount upfront, as his own equity contribution.
Rather than live up to his honour, Innoson refused to pay the agreed 25% equity contribution upfront. He then approached GTBank to release the shipping documents without the agreed payment, that he will be able to sell the good quickly and pay back the loan. But GTBank refused as this was a fundamental breach of the loan agreement. Innoson now did the worst, he went and fraudulently cleared all the imported Goods belonging to GTBank by forging the signatures of 4 staff of the Bank.
He also forged GTB’s stamp on all the shipping documents. Not only did Innoson do such a dishonorable thing, it was criminal, and as expected GTBank reported the matter to the police.
The police confirmed that Innoson deliberately set out to defraud, steal from the Bank. After seeing that he would be charged for forgery and other fraudulent crimes, Innoson approached GTBank and begged for debt forgiveness.
The bank, out of goodwill and to ensure it gets the loan paid, accepted Innoson’s plea of a reduction in interest amount and agreed to forego the sum of N559,374,072.09 which was the total sum of the default charges for his failure to service the loan.
Innoson promised to pay back within 30 days, the sum of N1,095,107,822.95 as full and final payment of his indebtedness to the Bank.
Again, Instead of honoring this new agreement, Innoson ran to the Federal High Court, Awka to claim that GTBank had debited his account with N559,374,072.09, the exact sum that the bank had forgiven him in default charges.
He has continued ever since, to claim falsely that the bank owes him in order to avoid paying back the loan and to evade his criminal trial at the court for fraud, forgery, and other crimes.
That’s why I said that this Innoson vs GTB story is above everything else, about honour. The matter is very clear, it is a case of debt recovery and betrayal of trust.
GTBank trusted and believed enough in Innoson and Innocent Chukwuma the industrialist to lend him more than N2 billion, but instead of repaying GTBank’s trust by paying up his loan, Innoson has resorted to blackmail in the most dishonourable of ways. Truly, if he had any shred of honour, Innoson would pay back the GTB loan and end this saga.