Court strikes out fraud charges against Innoson, EFCC vows to arrest him

Court strikes out fraud charges against Innoson, EFCC vows to arrest him

Chidi Samuel

Following the absence in court on Wednesday of the Chairman, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma to face fraud charges, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has vowed to arrest him to face fraud charges.

Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman said this in a statement after Justice Olusola Williams of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, struck out the case of fraud the anti-graft agency instituted against the Enugu based businessman.

The court struck out the case following the inability of the EFCC  to produce Chukwuma in court.

In a brief ruling on Wednesday, Justice Williams held that it was the responsibility of the EFCC to produce him in court.

Justice Williams ruled, “This court is not an investigator or a prosecutor. This court cannot waste precious judicial time prosecuting a matter that is going nowhere.

“This is a criminal matter that can be instituted anytime the prosecution is ready. The court hereby strikes out the matter.” the Judge held.

Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, were to be arraigned on four counts of conspiracy to obtain by false pretences, obtaining by false pretences, stealing and forgery.

The defendants allegedly committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.

They were alleged to have conspired to obtain, by false pretences, containers of motorcycles, spare parts, and raw materials, the property of Guaranty Trust Bank, from Mitsui OSK Lines Limited, Apapa, Lagos.

They were also alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them, via their clearing agents, the goods that were imported from China in the name of GTB by pretending that they were authorised by the bank to clear the goods.

The defendants were said to have forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mussui O.S.K. Line by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank staff.

Since the suit was instituted, first before Justice Mojisola Dada of the same court, the defendant has refused to appear in court to face his trial.