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Stats: 1,295 members, 11,634 Topics. Date: October 23, 2018, 10:59 am

EFCC Abusing Court Process In Case With GTB—Innoson

BiafraSay Forum | BiafraSay General | #Politics* | EFCC Abusing Court Process In Case With GTB—Innoson (67 Views)

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By Prince Okafor
THE management of Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd, has alleged an abuse of court process by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the prosecution of its case with Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB over business dispute.

This is even as Special Assistant to the chairman of the company, Cornel Osigwe, said the Chairman, Innocent Chukwuma, was not running away from any arraignment by the court, noting that he was innocent of all allegations.
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Lagos, had last Thursday declared Innocent Chukwuma wanted over his failure to make an appearance in court on his arraignment for the fifth time.
Chukwuma, alias Innoson, is standing trial in a matter between his company and the EFCC.
He said: “The business disagreement started from a dispute with Customs when GTB decided to cry more than the bereaved by appealing a valid court ruling ordering GTB to pay Innoson, a judgement debt of N2.4 billion being the cost of his goods unlawfully seized and auctioned by the Nigerian Customs.
“The activity of EFCC and GTB in trying to malign its reputation is distracting the ongoing upgrade from its 10, 000 capacity of car annually, to 60, 000. The company is upgrading from manual production to automated.’’
How it started
Osigwe stated that, Innocent Chukwuma in 2000, was able to set up the first indigenous motorcycle assembling plant in the country, adding that based on that fact, the Federal Government gave him a concession of 5 percent duty rate whenever he imported Completely Knock Down, CKD’s motorcycles.
“Between 2005 and 2006, Innoson imported 40 pieces of 40 feet containers of CKD motorcycles and it was seized by the Nigerian Customs. Normally, the motorcycle importers pay 30 percent import duty rate on motorcycles. But due to the agreement he had with the federal government, Customs told him that they have the list of people who government have given 5 percent duty rate to pay and his name was not there. Innoson protested to the Federal Ministry of Finance. The ministry wrote a letter to Customs that Innoson enjoys 5 percent duty rate from federal government and the offer is valid.
“Based on that, Customs cleared him and told him to pay the five per cent duty rate and collect his goods at the ports. After paying the duty rate, he went to get his goods, only to find out that the containers were no longer there. When he inquired, they told him that it is parked at the government warehouse. He went there and found out that it has been sold on auction.
“He took Customs to court and got the judgement of N2.4 billion. He got a garnish absolute order from the court and with this order, you can be able to pull out your money. Customs has over 10 billion in GTB.
“However, GTB disagreed to pay the money and went on to appeal the judgement. Before they went on appeal, Innoson has a loan service with GTB. Out of anger, Innoson told GTB that he will stop servicing the loan until Customs pays the money.
Court ordered GTBto pay Innosonjudgement debt
On the court judgement, he said: “In a unanimous judgement, delivered on the 6th of February 2014. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and affirmed the judgement of the trial court and ordered the defendant (GTBank) to pay the judgement debt to Innoson Nigeria Limited.”
Osigwe further said that “the refusal of GTB to comply with the initial court ruling made Innoson to inform the bank that he will discontinue the balance of his credit facilities with it until he gets his judgment money of about N2.4bn or rather, the bank should deduct his balance and pay him the balance of the judgement money.
“GTBank responded to this threat of Innoson on July 15th 2011, through a letter to Chief Innocent Chukwuma with the caption, “Indebtedness of Innoson Nigeria Limited to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc” “In his response to GTBank letter, Innoson on July 22nd reminded the bank that the said credit facilities it was recalling was yet to expire.
“It must be noted that Innoson severally contested GTBank position on the actual figure of his debt to the bank. While the bank was stating N1.3bn, Innoson maintained that his account was not more than N800 million and the N1.3 billion claim of the bank was due to overcharged interests, spurious charges and other unexplained charges.
“However, with the intimidation from EFCC, it was tentatively resolved that Innoson will be paying the sum of N30 million monthly.”
EFCC forgery allegation
Commenting on the forgery allegation, Osigwe noted that, “Innoson rejected both EFCC and GTBank contention through its letters to them respectively, insisting that GTBank shall pay the agreed N560 million at 22 percent interest rate as demanded by CBN guidelines and headed to court and got judgement in his favour. GTBank went to appeal and lost.
“It was after Innoson rejected the EFCC report on the actual indebtedness that EFCC came up with the forgery allegations. In all the various correspondences between Innoson and the EFCC in the ealiest investigation, the issue of forgery was never a subject matter but it was all about how to recover GTBank money.
“EFCC felt slighted and angered by Innoson’s refusal to accept its reconciliation contained in its letter of 20th September 2012. In December 2013, EFCC filed Charge No. ID/197C/2013 against Innoson and two others at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja. Later, in 2014, the charge was struck out. However, Innoson through his counsel appealed against the order and as well filed a motion on notice to the Court of Appeal, Lagos division, praying among others that EFCC be restrained from filing a further charge in respect of the same subject matter until determination of the Appeal Nos: CA/L/1328CM/17, CA/L/1329CM/17 & CA/L/1330CM/17.
“Subsequently, GTB invited the Nigerian Police to charge Innoson and others to court. The Nigerian police filed Charge No. FHC/L/565c/2015 at the Federal High Court Lagos Division in respect of the same subject matter, issues and transactions as are in the EFCC Charge No. ID/197C/2013. Subsequently, the Nigeria Police withdrew this charge.”

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