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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 Cases Hampering Our Operations, Says Innoson Motors |The Republican News

By Wale Elegbede

Innoson-boss-Innocent-Chukwuma

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)

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Ohanaeze Denounces EFCC’s Charges Against Innoson Motors Boss, Chukwuma |RN

Nnia-Nwodo-Ohanaeze

Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Tuesday in Enugu expressed dismay at the court action instituted against the Chairman of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), Chief Innocent Chukwuma by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The organisation said the court action in which Chukwuma is being charged, for obtaining customs documents through fraudulent means was diversionary and intended to persecute the automobile manufacturer.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emeka Attamah, the apex Igbo organisation insisted that the action was yet another attempt at hounding another son of Igboland.

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

“Cognisant of the matter in court and without any pretense to the veracity of the case or otherwise, Ohanaeze Ndigbo views the current travails of Chukwuma as yet another attempt at hounding another son of Igboland who, out of personal enterprise and dint of hard work, has helped in shaping the economic and industrial fortunes of Nigeria.

“Ohanaeze frowns at this recent attempt to obfuscate the clear court victory won by Innoson’s Group in a crucial suit against a leading bank in the country,” Attamah noted.

The organisation said the current twist in the whole affair was a deliberate attempt to put Chukwuma on the defensive in a matter that clearly vindicates him and confers a lot of financial advantage on him and taint his reputation by introducing a criminal angle to an already settled civil proceeding.

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

“Ohanaeze is carefully studying this discriminatory treatment of his adversaries and the law enforcement agents with a view to reviewing the patronage of our people to any economic establishment found to be associated in this new criminal assault of Chukwuma.

“We will no longer be prepared to do business with any organization that denigrates the best of our people,” the organisation stated. (ThisDay)

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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

GTBank-Igbo-customers-close-accounts

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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