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13 Banks, 60 Executives In Court Over N17bn Debt, Contempt Charges

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Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) has taken legal action against 60 top executives of 13 commercial banks, including chairmen, CEOs, secretaries and directors, over a N17 billion debt related to the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

BIGPEN NIGERIA (https://bigpenngr.com) understands that the banks executives are facing contempt charges for allegedly failing to comply with a court order to repay the debt.

It was gathered that the contempt proceedings brought by GTBank against the trios was stemmed from their alleged failure to implement a No-Debit-Order reportedly placed on the accounts of Afex Commodity Exchange with the banks.

GTBank and Afex Commodity Exchange are currently locked in a legal battle over the debt.

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Parties cited for contempt include Access Bank, Citibank, Jaiz Bank, Union Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank, NDIC (liquidator for Heritage Bank), Polaris Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Taj Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank alongside its principal officers.

In a suit no FHC/L/CS/911/2024 filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, Justice CJ Aneke signed an order for affected persons to be committed to jail for failing to obey its May 27 ruling.

The matter was adjourned to next Thursday.

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In the May 27 ruling, 20 banks were directed to transfer monies standing to the credit of the respondent into the AFEX’s account with GTB until the N17.81 billion is repaid.

The loans comprise N15.7 billion; the amount outstanding and unpaid as of April 17, 2024, and the cost of recovery and incidental expenses in the sum of N2.04 billion.

Ripple Nigeria reports that the court also granted an injunction allowing GTB to take over AFEX 16 warehouses located across seven states and sell the commodities said to have been procured with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ loan facility.

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The court had earlier in the month served contempt proceedings against AFEX and some of its principal officers including Ayodele Balogun, Jendayi Fraser, Justin Topilow, Mobolaji Adeoye, and Koonal Ghandi.

By: Babajide Okeowo

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