The Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company (IVM) has said that litigations against the company and its management are hampering its plans to upgrade from manual to automated production.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Cornel Osigwe, said the recent suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at a Lagos High Court is distracting its upgrade from 10,000 cars production capacity annually to 60,000.
Osigwe, who explained the reason for the absence of Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, the Chairman of IVM, from the court, said workers of the company are in fear of being harassed.
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court had, last week, declared Chukwuma wanted for failing to appear before the court for an arraignment over a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretence, obtaining property by false pretences, stealing and forgery preferred against him by the EFCC.
Osigwe said: “Innoson is contesting that the Lagos High court has no jurisdiction to entertain the suit and not afraid of arraignment or running away from the court. He is saying that he must be arraigned through due process of the law.
“There has been an advertorial by the EFFC declaring Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, the Chairman of IVM wanted. That publication has maligned his image and reputation as well as put him in a bad light as somebody who is a criminal. This is not so.
“The fact of the matter is that there has been an abuse of court process by the EFCC over a business disagreement between IVM and Guarantee Trust Bank, which started in 2013.
“This same case instituted by the EFCC is still pending at the Federal High Court, Lagos and at the Court of Appeal, Lagos.
“Recently, the same EFCC filed a fresh charge of the same case and allegation at the Lagos High Court. This is clearly an abuse of court process by the EFCC.”
While stating that the IVM chairman is a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria, Osigwe said Innoson is an entrepreneur whose story and growth replicates the die-hard spirit of Nigerians to make things happen regardless of the challenges. (New Telegraph)