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Monday 19th February 2018,
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I am not afraid of arraignment – Innoson boss says

This is coming after an Ikeja Special Offences Court issued a bench warrant for Chulwuma's arrest.

 

The Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Dr innocent Chukwuma (OFR) has said that he is not afraid of arraignment before any court.
This is coming after an Ikeja Special Offences Court issued a bench warrant for Chulwuma's arrest.

According to Punch, the warrant was issued by Justice Mojisola Dada, because Innoson motors chairman failed to appear in court twice for arraignment on criminal charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Dada said “A bench warrant is hereby served on Innocent Chukwuma, he will remain in custody till the next adjourned date.

“The case is adjourned till March 14 for possible arraignment.”

Innoson boss blows hot
In a statement signed by his spokesman, Cornel Osigwe, the businessman said that he is a law abiding citizen, adding that he must be arraigned properly.

The statement also alleged that Justice Dada’s ruling was biased, because he did not give Prof J.N Mbadugha – Chukwuma’s counsel, a fair hearing.

Also speaking on the case, Mbadugha said that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, because the third defendant has not been served.

He also listed the motions pending in the matter. They are:
1. 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;

2. A motion pending at the court of appeal to stay commencement of proceedings and execution of the court's order of 17th January 2018;

 

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3. 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.

GTB staff jubilate
Staff of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), who were in court, jubilated when the bench warrant was issued against Chukwuma, Osigwe added.

According to him, “It must be stated that based on the submission of Prof 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.

“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.

 

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“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.

ALSO READ: Full story of how Innoson and GTB fell 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.”

EFCC Vs Chukwuma
On Tuesday, December 19, 2017, the chairman of Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma was arrested at his Enugu home by EFCC operatives.

He was arrested for reportedly jumping bail in connection to a case he has with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), according to Premium Times.

Chukwuma was later released on bail.

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