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EFCC Vows To Arrest Innoson Chief, Chukwuma |The Republican News

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has vowed to arrest the Chairman, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma, in order to face fraud charges in court.

The EFCC spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said this in a statement on Wednesday shortly after Justice Olusola Williams of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, struck out the case of fraud it instituted against Chukwuma.

The court struck out the case after the anti-graft agency failed to produce Chukwuma in court to face trial.

Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, were to be arraigned on four counts of conspiracy to obtain by false pretences, obtaining by false pretences, stealing and forgery.

The defendants allegedly committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.

The defendants were alleged to have conspired to obtain, by false pretences, containers of motorcycles, spare parts and raw materials, the property of Guaranty Trust Bank, from Mitsui OSK Lines Limited, Apapa, Lagos.

They were also alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them, via their clearing agents, the goods that were imported from China in the name of GTB by pretending that they were authorised by the bank to clear the goods.

The defendants were said to have forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mussui O.S.K. Line by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank employee.

However, since the suit was instituted, first before Justice Mojisola Dada of the same court, the defendant had refused to appear in court to face his trial.

In a short ruling on Wednesday, Justice Williams held that it was the responsibility of the EFCC to produce him in court.

“This court is not an investigator or a prosecutor. This court cannot waste precious judicial time prosecuting a matter that is going nowhere.

“This is a criminal matter that can be instituted anytime the prosecution is ready.  The court hereby strikes out the matter,” the judge held.  (Punch)

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Court Issues Bench Warrant Against Innoson Motors Boss, Chief Chukwuma |RN

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                 CEO Innoson Motor Manufacturing IVM, Innocent Chukwuma

An Ikeja Special Offences Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr Innocent Chukwuma, alias Innoson, the Chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Mojisola Dada issued the bench warrant following the failure of the defendant to appear in court for the second time for arraignment on criminal charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

READ ALSO: Herdsmen To Pay For Grazing Reserves, State, Community Police Will End Killings – VP Osibanjo

“A bench warrant is hereby served on Innocent Chukwuma, he will remain in custody till the next adjourned date.

“The case is adjourned till March 14 for possible arraignment,” Justice Dada said.

Earlier, during the proceedings, a mild drama ensued in the courtroom, with Justice Dada threatening to charge Prof. J. N Mbadugha, the defence counsel for Innoson and Innoson Motors Ltd, for contempt of court.

Charles Chukwuma, a third defendant who was not present in court, had no legal representation.

Related: The Innoson Affair, The Igbo And The Orphans Of The Corporate World – Fani-Kayode |RN

Justice Dada issued the threat against Mbadugha following his alleged disrespectful conduct and outburst against the court in his opening address.

Mbadugha in his address had shouted: “This proceeding is a clear abuse of court processes, the EFCC is a reckless arbiter.

“My Lord has refused to be bound by the rule of law and doesn’t want to be bound by the doctrine of Stare Decisis; my Lord wants to override the decision of the Supreme Court.”

Justice Dada, in response, said: “Your whole comportment, conduct, countenance smacks of disrespect to the court and rule of law, I will report you to the Nigerian Bar Association.

“You are insulting the court, this is clear contempt in the face of the court; you will go to prison from here, if you think the court is defenceless and powerless, you’d be surprised.”

Related: Why We Arrested Innoson Group Boss, Innocent Chukwuma – EFCC |RN

Mbadugha, who initially said he was ready to be charged for contempt, later tendered an apology to the court, saying: “I am sorry My Lord, I hope the court gives me a second opportunity.

“I want to urge the court to temper justice with mercy; to err is human, but to forgive is divine.”

The defence counsel apologised to the court saying he had withdrawn his earlier statements.

NAN

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GTBank In Disarray As Massive Withdrawal, Closing Of Accounts By Igbo, Others Gather Momentum

By Ike A. Offor

They wished they never got involved in Innoson group boss, Innocent Chukwuma with EFCC saga. But it is a move that badly got the them burnt. Guaranty Trust Bank has exposed its bad customer service delivery deficiencies to the public.

Since the news of arrest of Innoson Motors in a case involving the bank, its reputation has been badly marred by more stories of frivolous charges on their customers apart from the one done to Chief Innocent Chukwuma.

Related: GT Bank In Desperate Move To Stop Aggrieved Customers From Closing Bank Accounts |RN

The move to close accounts in GTBank has just gathered momentum and many are now determined to follow those who have done so in the last three days. The chances of this easing or frayed nerves of customers, mainly Igbo one calming, is very remote.

Though Nigerians are very sensitive about tribal issues, this has touched the very man the Igbo love most due to the fact that he is a shinning example of bringing businesses home, something the Igbo have been crying for in the last few years.

GTBank has erred against the very people who kept it in business. Other banks will learn a lesson or two in this saga. Do not mess with your customers because they are the very reason you have business in the first place.

This gathering momentum, if not checked, would take GTBank to bankruptcy. Above all, they have suffered a very terrible customer service backlash. Their reputation now in customer service delivery has been exposed to a very  limelight.

Like many have said, this is not about Igbo versus GTBank issue but the bank versus customer service stunt gone badly wrong.

Many non-Igbo also closed their accounts and some are extremely rich business men as was mentioned by Femi Fani-Kayode in his article titled “The Innoson affair, the Igbo and orphans of the corporate  world”

Related: The Innoson Affair, The Igbo And The Orphans Of The Corporate World – Fani-Kayode |RN

Many have complained in the past about how GTBank withdraw their money at will and never return them.

Some of these aggrieved customers are the first to find reason to close their account since this incident with Chief Innocent Chukwuma took place.

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GT Bank In Desperate Move To Stop Aggrieved Customers From Closing Bank Accounts |RN

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Aggrieved GTBank custmoers waiting to close their bank accounts

The news source has it that Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) on Thursday put up desperate moves to calm customers who were aggrieved over the arrest of Innoson Motors’ boss, Innocent Chukwuma, from closing their accounts.

Many aggrieved customers of bank stormed the branches of the bank in Abuja requesting their bank accounts be closed.

Many others were seen transferring their deposits to other banks.

But the banks requested some aggrieved customers to officially write and wait for the bank’s response while the bank’s staff were seen speaking one-on-one with others.

Some who requested for fund transfers were told that the “network was down.”

Speaking with some of the customers, they blamed GTbank over the arrest of Chukwuma by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.

Independent News correspondent who visited many of the branches following threats of closing their accounts on social media saw long queues.

The customers were told at the Customer Service Section of the bank to apply to their account officers and wait for response while those wanting to make inter-bank transfers were told to either wait or come back the next day.

A miffed customer in one of the branches engaged one of the Customer Relation Officers (CRO) on a heated debate asking why he should apply.

“Why should I apply?” he asked in a loud voice with support from other customers who were queuing to make the same application.

“It’s my account so I want it close now, now! And don’t send me any alert again after today,” he boomed.

When approached why he was ending his relationship with the bank, John, as he could only identify himself said, “The bank owes Innoson billions of Naira, but they are using EFCC against him.

“They don’t want to pay, that is fraud. They are committing fraud and using government against Innoson. We won’t allow that.”

One of the CROs when approached said, they are just doing this out of anger adding, “They might regret it later.

“It’s not their problem; it’s an issue that would be resolved in the court of law. I wonder why they are angry,” she said hiding the name tag on her chest.”

At the Wuse 2 branch, the queue extended outside with the security finding it difficult to control the crowd.

One of the customers who spoke in Pidgin English said, “Any person who wants to bring down Innoson would go down first.

“I am here to show solidarity with my brother, Innocent Chukwuma. GTbank will fail.

“Innoson has won the bank in many court cases so they want to use EFCC so that he will forget his money. That won’t work,” he thundered.

Another customer who volunteered to speak said he had transferred millions to another bank. He also said the wife who had travelled would do same as they were ready to move their domiciliary accounts as well.

Inside the banking hall, the aggrieved customers were seen chatting and discussing the Innoson case with the bank and why EFCC was involved.

When Independent News correspondent approached a middle-aged man said to be the branch manager, he declined to comment, urging the news man to write an official letter to Lagos.

Innoson Group has been engaged in serious court cases with GTbank. It accused the bank of being indebted to the auto manufacturing company to the tune of N8.5 billion in a series of damages stemming from illegal service deductions by the bank. An initial fraud case brought against Mr. Chukwuma was withdrawn earlier this year.  (Infobytes)

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Innoson Motors Confirms Return Of Boss, Innocent Chukwuma Back Home |RN

Innoson-trucks

By Ike A. Offor

The Nigerian vehicle manufacturer, Innoson motors, confirms in its twitter handle the return of its boss, Chief Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma few minutes ago.

The tweet reads:

@Innosonmotors Boss Dr Innocent Chukuma Is Back Home

He was bundled out of his residence like a criminal but today, he is received back with an overwhelming crowd as a hero.

Conscience is an open wound, only the truth can heal it – Usman Dan Fodio

His case has generated lots of commentaries and civil actions by the public with regards to the news that many have closed their bank account with GTBank, which is the financial institution at the center of the entire saga.

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Why We Arrested Innoson Group Boss, Innocent Chukwuma – EFCC |RN

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A MILD drama played out between the Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, as the agency tried to arrest him in Enugu.

The EFCC claimed that Innoson staff tried to stop Chief Chukwuma’s arrest by the blocking his residence with trucks but EFCC operatives overcame the hurdles and arrested the business tycoon, who accused a tier-one bank of being behind his arrest. Chukwuma, who spoke with Vanguard while in EFCC custody in Enugu, yesterday, said the bank owed him undisclosed sum of money of which a court decided the matter in his favour “but instead of the bank paying me my money, they are using EFCC to intimidate me.”
He promised to give details of the transaction and his encounter with the EFCC, once he was through with the agency.
He was arrested yesterday, at about 11:00 am at his Savage Crescent, GRA Enugu residence where his staff allegedly put up resistance against his arrest but EFCC operatives finally had their way and whisked him away to their Enugu office.
EFCC’s Media Officer in Enugu, Mr. Chris Oluka, who confirmed his arrest in Enugu, said there was resistance by the business mogul before his arrest.
“He did put up some resistance by using some trucks to block our way to his residence but we finally arrested him,” said Oluka.
The EFCC officer added that Chukwuma was still being kept in the Enugu office as of 3:30 pm but would be taken to Lagos before the end of the day.
Spokesman of Innoson Group of Companies, Mr Cornel Osigwe, decried Chukwuma’s arrest. He told an online newspaper that “his arrest is in connection to the ongoing case he has with the bank.” Claiming that Chukwuma was accused of jumping bail, Osigwe wondered how someone who was never invited by the EFCC much less being arrested would be accused of fleeing from the law.
Innoson Group has accused the first tier bank of being indebted to the auto manufacturing company to the tune of N8.5 billion in a series of damages stemming from illegal service deductions by the bank. An initial fraud case brought against Mr. Chukwuma was withdrawn earlier this year.
But the Attorney-General Abubakar Malami revived the case at the Federal High Court in Abuja as the bank maintains its allegations that Chukwuma manipulated bank and shipping documents to obtain tax waivers from the Nigerian government.

However, EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement gave reasons the anti-graft agency went after the business man. He said: ‘’His arrest followed his refusal to honour invitation by the Commission having earlier jumped an administrative bail granted him in a case being investigated by the Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Unit of the Commission’s Lagos office.
‘’Chukwuma rather than honouring invitation by the EFCC, mobilized six truckloads of thugs pretending to be staff of his company to his residence, where they manhandled EFCC operatives. It took reinforcement from the Enugu office of the EFCC to effect the arrest of the industrialist who is currently being grilled by a team of investigators.’’  (Vanguard)

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EFCC Arrests Innoson Group Boss, Innocent Chukwuma |The Republican News

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His arrest followed his refusal to honor an invitation by the Commission having earlier jumped an administrative bail granted to him in a case being investigated by the Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Unit of the Commission’s Lagos office.

A well known industrialist, Innocent Chukwuma, popularly known by his company’s name, Innoson, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was picked up at about 11 a.m. at his Savage Crescent, GRA Enugu residence on Tuesday, December 19.

His arrest followed his refusal to honor an invitation by the Commission having earlier jumped an administrative bail granted to him in a case being investigated by the Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Unit of the Commission’s Lagos office.

Chukwuma, rather than honoring the invitation by the EFCC, mobilized six truck loads of thugs pretending to be staff of his company to his residence, where they manhandled EFCC operatives.

It took reinforcement from the Enugu office of the EFCC to effect the arrest of the industrialist who is currently being grilled by a team of investigators. (Sahara Reporters)

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