By Ike A. Offor
The Deputy Senate President, Dr Ike Ekweremadu made a very brilliant case in his submission in the Senate plenary session over the case of Innoson Group boss, Chief Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma.
He addressed issues many are afraid to speak on and laid to rest the separation of powers and strict adherence to the tenets of democracy where the constitution is paramount than power of money and connections.
He had this to say:
“If we reduce our security agencies into agencies of debt recovery, then we are doomed as a nation,”
“I would like to seek your indulgence to raise the matter of Mr. Innocent Chukwuma who we call ‘Innoson,’ by the EFCC over a matter between Mr. Chukwuma and Guarantee Trust Bank.
“At the inception of this Senate, we all took an oath to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God forbid that a day will come when we will sit back as a Senate and watch an attack on the liberty of any citizen.”
“Yesterday, I got a number of messages indicating that Mr. Innocent Chukwuma was arrested by the EFCC over a transaction between him and GTBank.
“This morning, I made an effort and I spoke with him. His story is straight forward: he said he was at his house at 5am on Tuesday when he heard gun shots and he thought they were assassins and he went into hiding.
“After about two hours, he saw some people and policemen, and he thought that help had come. So, he came out of hiding and ran to a policeman who promptly arrested him.
“He tried to find out what his offence was and they told him that when they get to the police station, they would inform him of the offence. As of today, nobody has told him what the offence is.
“Any person who is arrested and detained should be informed about the reason for their arrest. As I speak, Mr. Innoson Chukwuma has yet to be informed of what led to his arrest or detention, but if you go through the media today, the story is that he is owing GTB.
“As a lawyer, I’m at a loss (for words) on how a transaction between someone and his bank will concern the EFCC.”
“The story he told me is that he was not owing the bank anything; that he borrowed money from the bank, which he had since repaid, but the bank kept charging him money and withdrawing it from his account.
“They set up an audit and the auditor came to a conclusion that they had deducted more than N500m.
“He insisted on 22 per cent (interest on the deductions), the bank said they would pay 17 per cent; that was where they had the disagreement.”
Some, though due to the pandemic tribal sentiments in Nigeria, have already ruled this case and have found Chief Innocent Chukwuma guilty in the issue, though many have no good idea of the case at hand.
If the boss of Innoson group, had this to say to the deputy Senate President, one would take this to be a credible statement from him, though the GTBank is yet to issue any official statement to enable the public determine their position.
Many have asked why has GTBank failed to issue any official statement since the saga broke out, and why are they allowing this to tarnish their customer service image, and their reputation as a public service provider?