Innocent Chukwuma reacts to arrest order issued by Lagos court

Innoson
Dr. Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma, Chairman of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Innoson Group.

The embattled businessman and chairman of Innoson Group, Innocent Chukwuma, has reacted to an order for his arrest issued by a Lagos High Court on Friday.

The court, presided by Justice Mojisola Dada, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr. Chukwuma for him to be presented before the court on the adjourned date of March 14, 2018 for arraignment over alleged forgery.

Mr. Chukwuma was in December dragged to the Lagos High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on allegations of fraud and forgery.

But a statement issued by Head of Corporate Communications of the Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, quoted the businessman citing irregularities in the process of his planned arraignment as the reason for his absconding the session.

The statement contends that Mr. Chukwuma “is not afraid of arraignment in the court but he must be arraigned through the due process of law.”

Mr. Osigwe argued that “the decision of Justice Mojisola Dada was done in bad faith because the judge did not grant the counsel to Innoson, Prof J.N Mbadugha a fair hearing”.

Read the full statement below:

I AM NOT AFRAID OF ARRAIGNMENT BEFORE THE COURT – INNOSON

The Chairman of Innoson Group, Innocent Chukwuma, popularly known as Innoson has stated that as a law abiding citizen, he is not afraid of arraignment in the court but he must be arraigned through the due process of law. Innoson stated this today why receiving the news of issuance of bench warrant against him today by State High Court Ikeja.

In a ruling by Justice Mojisola Dada, the court ordered that Innoson should be arrested and kept in custody a day before the next adjournment and be produced on the adjourned date, March 14, 2018 for probable arraignment over alleged forgery.

In a related development, the spokesperson of Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe reacting to the issuance of bench warrant against Innoson stated that the decision of Justice Mojisola Dada was done in bad faith because the judge did not grant the counsel to Innoson, Prof J.N Mbadugha Esg a fair hearing.

During the court proceedings of today Prof. Mbadugha invited the attention of the court to the motions pending in the matter, viz:

· that the charge is an abuse of process because a similar charge on the same subject matter is pending at the federal high court Lagos division between the same parties in charge no FHC/l/565c/2015;

· a motion pending at the court of appeal to stay commencement of proceedings and execution of the court’s order of 17th January 2018;

· a motion that the court recuse or disqualify itself from further conduct of the proceedings; and a motion that EFCC cannot be heard in any application until it withdraws the charge given a pending motion against it praying that it be restrained from filing any charge in respect of the same subject matter of the charge that was struck out until the determination of the appeal against the court’s order striking out the previous charge- Charge No. ID/197c/2013.

Mr. Mbadugha also informed the court that the 3rd defendant has not been served and as such the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

All the submissions of Mr. Mbadugha to the judge were not granted, however the judge granted the plea of the counsel to EFCC who prayed the court to issue a bench warrant against Innoson. The issuance of bench warrant led to a wild jubilation by some staff of GTB and their lawyers who were fully seated in the court.

It must be stated that based on the submission of Mr. Mbadugha, counsel to Innoson, the judge erred in law by making an order to issue a bench warrant against Innoson. The court is bound by law to listen and decide the applications submitted rather than making an order to arraign Innoson in a charge that is an abuse of process.

Mr. Osigwe has previously maintained that the EFCC charge which is being instigated by GTB is a gross abuse of process. First, an earlier charge which GTB induced the EFCC to file against Innoson was struck out. Innoson appealed against the order striking the charge out on the ground that it ought to be a dismissal and not striking out. The appeal, with Appeal No: CA/L/1328CM/2017 is, till date, still pending when EFCC filed or re-filed, in December 2017, the same charge that was struck out. Secondly, the charge is on the same subject matter and the same party as Charge No: FHC/L/565C/2015 that is pending at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, in Appeal No: CA/E/249C/2016.

Both charges are smear campaign by GTB and EFCC to destroy Innoson.

Cornel Osigwe

Head of Corporate Communications

Innoson Group


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  • Zacchaeus Akinleye, ME, P.E.

    Innocent Chukwuma needs to face his trial and prove his innocence in court instead of picking irregularities in procedure and blaming EFCC and GTB as reason for dodging. The longer he evades the court the more damage he does to his credibility and also the Innoson brand.

    • obiora

      Which innocence will he prove to Crooked upside down thinking Tribe like Yoruba. Federal High Court Lagos is bigger Court to Lagos state High Court. Innoson is not Leaving in Lagos and GTB is Nigeria Company not Lagos state Company. EFCC is Federal Police why taking somebody to State Court.

      • Ferdinand

        The crime was committed in Lagos. Forgery is a state crime to handled by a state high court

      • GusO

        Please stop the tribal baiting. This piece of nonsense you’re writing here does not help Igbos aspiring for the Presidency of this nation if Igbos collectively suffer paranoia every time an Igbo man is arraigned for a suspected crime. I’m a Midwesterner and tired of Igbos defending other igbos suspected of crime when other tribes do not care who is arraigned for crime.

    • Ferdinand

      Does he has any credibility. Not at all. A common criminal and fugitive from law

  • OGK

    What are they smoking in the Premium Times newsroom? Whoever handles this piece of story should be surcharged today’s wages and be severely reprimanded. Is this a news story, a press statement from Innoson and his spin doctor, a PR stuff or a combination of the three? I thought PT has surpassed this chop-i-chop level of journalism

  • Ola

    Nigerians say they want big fishes to be fried in our fight against corruption. I only cringe,only if they know the length these people will go to evade the law. They always fall sick,need to be flown abroad for medical emergency,they challenge court jusrisdiction all the way to the Supreme Court, they want presiding judge removed from their case and whip up tribal sentiments to arouse doubt in the public eye .

    The list of their manauvers is endless.

    Buy the time all of this is played out, 5-10 years has gone by and still no trial of our so called big men and women. It’s a case of the guilty being terrified of wearing the prison robe.