The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma, on Wednesday told members of the Senate committee on anti-corruption how his family members were reportedly maltreated by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission when they arrested him last December.
Mr. Chukwuma said that his wife was slapped while his four-month-old grandson and staff members were tear-gassed by EFCC operatives after forcefully gaining entrance to his house.
Enyinnaya Abaribe, Abia-PDP, had on December 20, a day after the arrest, announced at plenary that the operatives of EFCC slapped the wife of Mr. Chukwuma.
“Another incident happened in his house. The wife asked a question; ‘why are you arresting my husband? What has happened?’ And they slapped her,” he had said.
Confirming this on Thursday, the Innoson boss said the operatives, ”swooped on his house like assassins.”
“I do not know any thug nor do I have any thug let alone inviting or mobilising them to resist my arrest. Rather, given the way EFCC men entered into my residence, I thought they were assassins.
“As a result, I notified some of my friends and staff and they came to find out what was happening. The EFCC operatives that came to arrest me slapped my wife. Of course, she asked them for their warrant of arrest. They also beat up one Chidozie who was living with me to stupor. They used teargas on him for failing to tell them where I was. The EFCC operatives maltreated me as well.”
He added that he and his relatives and staff were maltreated before he was arrested.
“They used tear gas on me, flew me to Lagos in a pair of shorts, ‘snapped’ me with camera, sent the pictures to GTBank. They also injured some of my staff while shooting live bullets and tear gas. The tear gas affected my four-month-old grandson, who was there with his mother.”
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately get a reaction to this allegation.
In its reaction, the EFCC representative told the panel that it had the powers to arrest Mr. Chukwuma or any other Nigerian with or without a warrant.
“We can arrest a person with or without a warrant. And the matter for which we have invited him for, the law did not state that we can’t arrest him without a warrant,” the EFCC Director of Legal and Prosecution, Chilo Okoroma, told members of the Senate committee
The senate resolved to continue the probe on a later date.