FG Calls For Arrest Of Innocent Chukwuma, Innoson Motor Boss, Two Others

FG Calls For Arrest Of Innocent Chukwuma, Innoson Motor Boss, Two Others

The Federal Government Monday urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to
issue a bench warrant for Innoson Nigeria Limited’s chairman Mr.
Innocent Chukwuma and two of his employees.

They were charged in a fraud case before Justice Ayokunle Faji.

The
Police charged them with an alleged N2.4billion shipping fraud, but the
Attorney-General of the Federation later took over the case.

Others named in the charge are Charles Chukwuma, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Anajekwu Sunny.

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.

Yesterday, Chukwuma and his staff were absent.

Prosecuting Counsel Mr. Julius Ajakaiye moved an application urging the court to order the absent defendants’ arrest.

He
said the charge was served on them through a court-ordered 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”.

Consequently, he said the defendants were yet to take their plea and should therefore be compelled to appear.

He added that an April 12, 2016 amended charge could not be served on the absent defendants.

Ajakaiye 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.

They
argued 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.

The prosecution accused the defendants of conspiring to unlawfully falsify shipping clearance documents.

They
were accused of “uttering” (presenting) the allegedly falsified
shipping documents as collateral to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to allegedly
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.

Justice Faji adjourned until July 3 for ruling.

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