GTBank Plc appears to be swimming in murky water of crisis as the bank has been taken to court over an issue bothering on a business idea.
A business woman, Kehinde Abiodun alleged that she discussed a food and drinks affair business idea with the officials of the bank, but that she was sidelined by the bank.
Abiodun alleged that GTBank unilaterally embarked on the project contrary to an agreement she reached with them, and she is seeking damages of N510 Million against the bank over the matter.
Justice Ayokunle Faji of a Federal High Court, Lagos on Monday July 19 fixed November 22 and 24 for the hearing of the matter in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/616/2018 between the sole applicant, Abiodun and the sole defendant, GTB.
The plaintiff averred in the suit filed by her counsel, Oliver Ilori, that she conceptualised and created a business concept called ‘The Shopping Arena (TSA)’.
The TSA is said to be a sales marketing and networking platform, where wholesalers and retailers converge to showcase their products and services at discounted prices to a wider targeted audience in a more friendly and conducive environment.
TSA’s primary aim, she said, is to avail Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) with a physical platform on which to converge and market their brands, products and services to the public.
The Plaintiff stated that the defendant operates an online marketplace for SMEs known as the GTBank SME Market Hub which is an electronic platform on which SMEs are registered to market and sell their brands products and services
She added that in a bid to grow the TSA brand and gain further publicity, she resolved to partner the defendant to leverage on the defendant’s multiple publicity channels, including the defendant’s SME Market Hub platform.
Abiodun asserted that she approached Gtbank with a proposal for a partnership on TSA and the bank accepted her proposal.
The claimant alleged that after she was led to share her trade secrets with Gtbank, it shunned her and held its fair using her ideas.
Abiodun averred further that the bank passed off her business concept by using it to organise its Food and Drink fair.
She prayed the court to award the sum of N510million as damages and cost against the bank for allegedly passing-off of her business concept and intellectual work.
The sum consists of N300million for passing off the plaintiff’s intellectual idea and logistical data for the organisation and hosting of the Defendant’s food and drink fair, general damages of N100million, aggravated damages of N100milion and cost N10million.
She is also seeking, among others, a declaration that the plaintiff is the originator and creator of the Shopping Arena Business Concept and that the defendant has passed off her business concept and intellectual.
Others are an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant from further passing off, a letter of apology to be published in two national among others.
Gtbank, in its defence, denied stealing the plaintiff’s idea, adding that the idea is not novel.