Law enforcement officers said to be from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested Innocent Chukwuma, the founder and chairman of Innoson Motors.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt from a spokesperson for the company, Cornel Osigwe, that Mr. Chukwuma was arrested at his residence in Enugu around 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
“His arrest is in connection to the ongoing case he has with GTBank,” Mr. Osigwe said by telephone.
Mr. Osigwe said his principal was accused of jumping bail, wondering how someone who was never invited by the EFCC much less being arrested would be accused of fleeing from the law.
“He was never invited by the EFCC, we challenge them to come forward with any evidence showing that he jumped bail,” Mr. Osigwe said. “This is GTBank using federal authorities to persecute an illustrious citizen who has done a lot to improve the economic development of this country.”
The EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said he had not been briefed about the arrest when reached for comments by PREMIUM TIMES.
A spokesperson for GTBank, Meksley Nwagboh, denied the bank’s involvement in the arrest, telling PREMIUM TIMES that if the “EFCC arrested him they will be in a best position to comment on the reason for his arrest.”
Innoson Group has accused GTBank of being indebted to the indigenous auto manufacturing company up to N8.5 billion in a series of damages that stemmed 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 Chukwuma was withdrawn earlier this year.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 GTBank maintains its allegations that Mr. Chukwuma manipulated bank and shipping documents to obtain tax waivers from the Nigerian government.
More details later…