Sporting From His Court Victory Against GTBank, FG Orders Court To Arrest Innoson Boss & Two Staff
The Federal Government has added another twist to the Innoson/GTBank saga, as it ordered the Federal High Court in Lagos to issue a bench warrant for Innoson’s chairman Mr. Innocent Chukwuma and two of his employees, over allegations of fraud. The case, which was brought before Justice Ayokunle Faji, involved a charge of an alleged N2.4Billion shipping fraud, against Innoson Chairman, and others namely Charles Chukwuma, Maximan Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Anajekwu Sunny, by the Nigerian Police.
The prosecution accused the defendants of conspiring to unlawfully falsify shipping clearance documents, uttering and presenting the allegedly falsified shipping documents as collateral to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, in order to obtain a loan of N2.4Billion. The Federal Government claimed that the defendants committed the offence at Apapa Wharf on October 10, 2013.
The alleged offence is contrary to sections 1(2) (c) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation 2004.
However, the Attorney-General of the Federation later took over the case. And now, the prosecution is praying the court to order the arrest of Innoson Motors Chairman and his staff for failing to turn up to take their plea in the criminal charge and their continued absence at the hearings. Prosecuting Counsel Mr. Julius Ajakaiye moved an application for the court to order the absent defendants’ arrest, after he, and two of his staff members, failed to appear before the court again.
The said charge was served on them through a court-order on February 8, 2016 substituted service following the AGF’s take-over of the case. Ajakaiye said since then, the third and fourth defendants had been coming to court, while the first, second and fifth defendants “have refused, failed and neglected to appear in court till date”. And were thus yet to take their plea and should be forced to appear. He therefore urged the court to grant his application by ordering their arrest.
But defence counsel Chief George Uwechue (SAN), Prof. C. Mbadugha, prayed the court to dismiss the application, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction to issue the warrant against the defendants “because they were not properly before the court”.
They said the application offends Order 6 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, adding that there was no proper service on their clients. Justice Faji adjourned until July 3 for ruling.
What do you think of this continued court cases between Innoson chairman, the FG and GTBank?