GTBank Drags 60 Bank Bosses To Court, Pursues N17bn Debt Recovery

Guaranty Trust Bank has taken legal action against over 60 senior executives from 13 commercial banks in an ongoing lawsuit involving the bank and Afex Commodity Exchange concerning a N17 billion Anchor Borrowers Programme loan.

These executives, including chairpersons, chief executive officers, directors, and company secretaries, face contempt charges for allegedly failing to enforce a Post-No-Debit Order on the accounts of Afex Commodity Exchange held at these banks.

Note: “Post No Debit” is a term used to describe a restriction imposed by banks on specific accounts, preventing customers from making withdrawals, transfers, or any other debits from their accounts.

This measure effectively freezes the funds in the account, rendering it inaccessible for the duration of the restriction.

13 banks dragged into GTBank’s suit

In case no. FHC/L/CS/911/2024 between Guaranty Trust Bank Limited and AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, the Federal High Court in Lagos, under the authority of Justice CJ Aneke, issued an order to imprison the chairpersons, managing directors, directors, company secretaries, and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation for not complying with its ruling from May 27, 2024.

The parties accused of contempt include key officers from Access Bank, Citibank, Jaiz Bank, Union Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank, NDIC (as the liquidator for Heritage Bank), Polaris Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Taj Bank, United Bank for Africa, and Zenith Bank.

In a court ruling dated May 27, 2024, twenty banks were ordered to transfer the funds in the respondent’s accounts to AFEX’s account with GTBank until the N17.81 billion debt is settled.

This sum includes N15.77 billion in outstanding and unpaid loans as of April 17, 2024, and N2.04 billion in recovery costs and incidental expenses.

The court also issued an injunction permitting GTBank to take control of AFEX’s 16 warehouses in seven states and sell the commodities stored there, which were acquired using the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ loan facility.

Background to AFEX’s debt with GTBank

Earlier this month, the court served contempt proceedings against AFEX and key officers for failing to repay a loan from GTBank under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme.

The loan, meant to support smallholder farmers, was to be repaid from commodity sales.

Despite an extension, AFEX cited economic difficulties impacting 800,000 farmers, leading to non-repayment.

They urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to activate the 70% collateral guarantee clause due to the lingering effects of the cash crunch, which forced farmers to sell below market value for immediate cash.


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