GTBank Drags 60 Bank Executives to Court Over N17bn Loan Dispute with AFEX Commodity Exchange



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Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) has taken legal action against 60 top executives from 13 commercial banks for alleged contempt of court regarding a dispute over a N17 billion Anchor Borrowers Programme loan involving AFEX Commodity Exchange. The executives, including chairmen, CEOs, directors, and company secretaries of the banks, are accused of failing to comply with a court-ordered No-Debit-Order placed on AFEX’s accounts.

In a suit filed as FHC/L/CS/911/2024 at the Federal High Court, Lagos division, Justice CJ Aneke signed an order threatening jail time for the executives for non-compliance with the court’s ruling dated May 27, 2024. This ruling directed 20 banks to transfer funds from AFEX’s accounts to GTBank until the N17.81 billion debt is settled, comprising N15.77 billion in outstanding loans and N2.04 billion in recovery costs.

Additionally, the court granted GTBank permission to seize and sell commodities stored in AFEX’s 16 warehouses across seven states, acquired with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ loan facility. AFEX had reportedly sourced the loan to finance smallholder farmers, but failed to fully repay despite extensions due to economic challenges affecting farmers’ productivity and market participation.

AFEX has contested, stating it has repaid 90% of the loan and is in discussions with CBN over outstanding amounts, citing economic hardships impacting farmers’ repayment capabilities. They have urged CBN to activate the collateral guarantee clause to support recovery efforts in the agricultural sector.

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