Court Sets Date to Render Final Judgement in CT. COM Vs GT Bank Landmark US$7 Million Case
MONROVIA – After four years, the commercial court headed by Judge Eva Mappy Morgan, on August 29, listened to the final arguments in the case involving CT. Com Liberia Limited and the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).
Lawyers representing both parties on August 29, 2023, appeared in court, proffering their final arguments before the three Judges heading the commercial. The argument is considered as a basis leading to the final ruling.
Since the commencement, CT Com was represented by its lawyers, namely, Cllr. G Wilfued Sayeh and Cllr Augustine Toe of the Sayeh and Sayeh Law office.
This case in criminal court started when CT. Com through its chief executive officer, Christopher Hayes Onanuga, filed a US$7 million lawsuit against GT. Bank for Wrongful Actions of Damages back in 2019.
The hearing into the case brought against GT Bank Liberia Limited by CT. Com Liberia began in 2021
In the lawsuit filed, the company highlighted several injuries the bank had caused the business after its account suffered for eight months due to the action of the bank to wrongfully freeze the company’s account due to misidentification. In the lawsuit filed, the company asserted that its accounts were closed without justification.
Taking the witness stand on January 19, 2022, Mr. Onanuga, in his testimony revealed that the situation came about when the bank in 2019, seized an account owned by an individual named Chris Onanuga whose name is quite different from his, as the Chief Executive Officer of CT. Com Liberia Limited; and as such, the company’s account was linked as a result of the names.
Mr. Christopher Hayes Onanuga said his company suffered losses as a result of the traumatic closure, which he noted stained the image and morals, thus depriving the institution of carrying on its normal business activities. He outlined struggles the company faced in paying staff, purchasing of fuel, and paying debts owed, as well as meeting the obligations of its staff.
In continuation of his testimonies on April 12, 2023, the Liberian businessman noted that the company was dependent on credit to run its daily operations.
“Light bills, staff wages, and taxes could not be paid. The company survived on credit from vendors. This situation began critical to our operation on a day-to-day basis,” he recounted.
The businessman also stated that the action of the bank had a devastating effect on the reputation of the institution-both on the national and international scene. On these grounds, according to Onanuga, the company filed a lawsuit for several damages.
“It is almost impossible to quantify the financial loses we incurred because we will be placing financial losses to image of the company, to brand of the company, individuals’ character and creditability – those who were in the employ and still in the employ of the company until now – both local and globally,” Mr. Onanuga told the court.
GT Bank Liberia Limited has been in several cases at the Commercial court including a lawsuit filed by George Kailondo, a businessman who indicted some workers of the bank, for allegedly taking US$93, 500 from his company, Kailondo Petroleum Inc.
However, in the final hearing held on August 29, CT. Com Liberia prayed the court granted them Justice as per the records before it.
The accused Bank at the same time requested the court to discontinue the case, like was earlier done when they filed a motion asking the court to render judgment without going to trial. However, the motion for Summary judgment was denied by the court.
But unlike CT. Com Liberia Limited, who has produced its witnesses, GT Bank, in this trial, was unable to present a witness up until the final arguments.
Meanwhile, the court has ordered that both parties submit their proposed ruling and legal Memoranda to enable the court to make its final decision.
Memoranda is a comprehensive and organized written document that summarizes and analyzes relevant laws based on legal research to support a conclusion on a particular legal issue.