The Supreme Court has reversed its earlier ruling which dismissed an appeal filed by Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB, against a N2.4bn judgment given in favour of Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited by the Court of Appeal in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The apex court had dismissed the Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB)’s appeal in the February 27, 2019 ruling delivered by the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, Oyo State.
A judgment delivered on Friday by a five-member panel led by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola unanimously held that the Supreme Court erred when, in a ruling on February 27, 2019, it erroneously dismissed the appeal marked: SC/694/2014 filed by GTB.
Justice Tijani Abubakar wrote the lead judgement which was read by Justice Abdu Aboki on Friday.
The apex court held that it was misled by its registry, which failed to promptly bring to the notice of the panel that sat on the case on February 27, 2019 that GTB had already filed its appellant’s brief of argument.
The judgment was on an application by GTB seeking the re-listing of the appeal on the grounds that it was wrongly dismissed.
According to the judge, he said: “I am convinced that at the material time that the appellant’s appeal was inadvertently dismissed by this court, there was in place, a valid and subsisting brief of argument filed by the applicant.
“It will be unjust to visit the sin of the court’s Registry on an innocent, vigilant, proactive, and diligent litigant.
“It is obvious from the material before us, that there were errors committed by the Registry of this court, having failed to bring to the notice of the panel of Justices that sat in chambers on the 27th February 2019 that the appellant had indeed filed its brief of argument.
“This is a case deserving of positive consideration by this court.
“Having gone through all the materials in this application, therefore, I am satisfied that the appellant/applicant’s brief of argument was filed before the order of this court made on the 27th of February 2019 dismissing the applicant’s appeal.
“The order dismissing the appeal was therefore made in error. It ought not to have been made if all materials were disclosed. The application is, therefore, meritorious and hereby succeeds.”
The judge proceeded to set aside the court’s ruling of February 27, 2019 dismissing GTB’s appeal and ordered that the appeal marked: 694/2014 “be relisted to constitute an integral part of the business of this court until its hearing and determination on the merit.”
The Innoson Group and GTB has been in a long standing dispute over an outstanding N4.2 billion debt by the bank.