After issuing a series of confusing and potentially damaging statements last week on Twitter, claiming that the Supreme Court had ordered Guaranty Trust Bank (GTbank) to pay it the sum of ₦14 billion, the management of Innoson Motors Limited has finally recanted said claims while tendering apologies to the public.
A new tweet issued to this effect on Monday admitted that the company did “slightly distort” the information about what actually happened in court. They, however, blamed their Public Relations agency for the misinformation, while noting that the mistake had been corrected.
The management of Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing want to bring to the attention of the public to the caption: *SUPREME COURT ORDERS @gtbank TO PAY 14BN to INNOSON made on its official twitter handle @Innosonvehicles.
— Innoson Vehicles (@innosonvehicles) June 11, 2018
“The caption was a slight distortion of the information.
When the information came to our notice we had to correct the error made by the staff of the agency managing our social media accounts. We apologiSe for that misleading information.” -Innoson Motors
As we had reported, Innoson Motors had issued some controversial tweets on Thursday, June 8 claiming that the Supreme Court of Nigeria struck out the ‘motion for stay’ filed by GTBank while also ordering the bank to pay the sum of ₦14 billion to Innoson Motors’ CEO in the next 14 days.
The company had claimed that the ₦14 billion is an accrued total of a ‘judgment debt’ of about ₦6 billion which the Enugu court of Appeal ordered the bank to pay back in 2014.
In response, GTBank issued a statement refuting the claims which they said was “false, mischievous and malicious”.
The statement from the bank went further to make it clear that “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 tier one bank also accused Innoson of distorting the truth. It, however, urged its customers to “disregard these false statements” because they are supposedly untrue. In specific terms, the bank refuted the claim by Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, categorically stating that the Supreme Court never gave any such injunction as was claimed by the automaker.
A backfiring lie?
Meanwhile, some of Innoson Motor’s Twitter followers have expressed their disappointment over this latest twist to the long-standing issue, with some openly doubting that was even a mistake after all.
This is a big disgrace to innoson motors. How can such heavy information that can ruin a company’s reputation be a mistake! Y’all should really apologize now
— Juice & Sauce (@Iam_Abdulaxis) June 12, 2018
Very right. The handler tweeted what he was told to
— Blue Angel (@meenanique) June 12, 2018
Can you imagine? After slandering and making false accusations. Innoson should be sued/fined/reprimanded heavily. Just to serve as a deterrent to others. Shameful.
— Bolarinwa Olajide (@iambolar) June 12, 2018
A protracted court case
It should be recalled that the litigation between GTBank and Innoson Motors have protracted for about five years. Last year, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Innoson Motors’ CEO, Innocent Chukwuma, alleging fraud on his part.
The controversial arrest of the industrialist was immediately connected to his case with GTBank. The bank, however, shut down the rumours, even as it later went silent in the coming days while speculations were rife as to whether the controversy would affect its full year 2017 financial performance.
GTBank then went ahead to report a positive financial performance for the year ended December 31st, 2017.
However, the bank’s Q1 2018 financial report has not been so positive despite a 4% increase in profit recorded. Profit grew to ₦52,624 billion, up from ₦50,392 billion in the comparable period last year while revenue decreased by 10%, standing at ₦59,689 billion; down from ₦66,129 billion in Q1 2017.