Traditional rulers under the aegis of Anambra South Senatorial Traditional Rulers Forum have called on President Muhammad Buhari to intervene in the current rift between the Guarantee Trust Bank Plc and the chairman of Innoson Group, Innocent Chukwuma.
They said the row had lingered through the courts.
In a press statement signed by the grand patron of the forum, Igwe Kenneth Orizu III of Nnewi, with 30 other traditional rulers, the monarchs said the intervention of President Buhari becomes expedient so as not to allow “the little crisis degenerate into a bigger crisis that will be difficult and costly to resolve”.
The forum specifically condemned the involvement and roles of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the case against Mr Chukwuma.
“The Royal fathers of Anambra South Traditional Rulers Forum is calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to look critically into the roles and activities of the EFCC on the ongoing business dispute between the Guarantee Trust Bank PLC and Innoson Nigeria Ltd,” the statement said.
“It has become obvious that the EFCC is not following laid down procedures and judicial precedence in the prosecution of the alleged trumped up charge against our son, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Nigeria Ltd.
“As leaders and elders of the land, knowing fully well the consequences and crisis the roles and activities of the EFCC may cause, we have decided to use this medium call on you, Mr. President, to call EFCC to order on this matter so as not to allow this little crisis degenerate into a bigger crisis that will be difficult and costly to resolve.”
While recalling several ordeals suffered by the Innoson boss in the hands of the anti graft agency, especially how he was bundled out of his house by EFCC operatives that invaded his Enugu residence in the middle of the night of December 19, 2017; the monarchs wandered why EFCC will “persecute such a distinguished Nigerian” who has provided direct employment to thousands of Nigerians.
While calling on Mr Buhari to direct the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to call his officers to order; and to stop displaying elements of bias in the said dispute, the monarchs also called on the police IG and the Lagos police to “dutifully and responsibly” investigate the recent attack on Prof. McCarthy Mbadugha, Innoson’s lawyer, by assassins believed to have been sponsored by Innoson’s opponents; with a view to arresting the perpetrators and unravelling the reason behind such attack.”