UPDATE: Court Issues Arrest Warrant For Innoson Chairman

An Ikeja Special Offences Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr Innocent Chukwuma, alias Innoson, the Chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Mojisola Dada issued the bench warrant following the failure of the defendant to appear in court for the second time for arraignment on criminal charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“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,” Justice Dada said.

Earlier, during the proceedings, a mild drama ensued in the courtroom, with Justice Dada threatening to charge Prof. J. N Mbadugha, the defence counsel for Innoson and Innoson Motors Ltd, for contempt of court.

Charles Chukwuma, a third defendant who was not present in court, had no legal representation.

Justice Dada issued the threat against Mbadugha following his alleged disrespectful conduct and outburst against the court in his opening address.

Mbadugha in his address had shouted: “This proceeding is a clear abuse of court processes, the EFCC is a reckless arbiter.

“My Lord has refused to be bound by the rule of law and doesn’t want to be bound by the doctrine of Stare Decisis; my Lord wants to override the decision of the Supreme Court.”

Justice Dada, in response, said: “Your whole comportment, conduct, countenance smacks of disrespect to the court and rule of law, I will report you to the Nigerian Bar Association.

“You are insulting the court, this is clear contempt in the face of the court; you will go to prison from here, if you think the court is defenceless and powerless, you’d be surprised.”

Mbadugha, who initially said he was ready to be charged for contempt, later tendered an apology to the court, saying: “I am sorry My Lord, I hope the court gives me a second opportunity.

“I want to urge the court to temper justice with mercy; to err is human, but to forgive is divine.”

The defence counsel apologised to the court saying he had withdrawn his earlier statements.

NAN

Outrage Over Arrest and Release Of Innoson CEO Among Other Newspaper Headlines Today

There is a growing outrage over the arrest and eventual release on bail of Innocent Chukwuma, the Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Group by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.

Vanguard reports – Innoson Boss Flown To Lagos In Shorts on a day waves of condemnation trailed his arrest, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, flew Chairman of Innoson Group of Companies, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, to Lagos in shorts, according to one of his aides.

Daily Sun captions it Innoson’s Arrest: Anger In Senate with the initial dust raised by the arrest of the Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma, by the EFCC snowballed into an outrage as the nation’s upper legislative chamber and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) flayed the involvement of the anti-graft commission in civil matter.

The Guardian leads with the story Crisis Looms as Camerounian Migrants Invade Cross River saying that an humanitarian crisis may soon hit some communities in Boki Local Council of Cross River State with the illegal migration of over 8,000 Camerounians from the English-speaking (Anglo-phone) part of the country.

Moves to increase the scope of work of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway catches the attention of Punch as its lead story reads FG Considers Increasing Scope of Work To N300bn as members of the Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday, embarked on a marathon meeting that saw them approving contracts totaling about N960bn.

The unending crisis currently engulfing the Peoples Democratic Party PDP expressly captioned in the Nigerian Tribune as New PDP Faction Emerges, Opens Secretariat in Abuja. It says A group, which goes by the name “Fresh PDP”, on Wednesday, claimed that it had become the new leadership of the party, backing it up by opening a secretariat in Abuja.

Race for 2019 makes it way as the lead story of The Nation newspaper with the headline; El-Rufai to Atiku: Prove You Funded Buhari’s Campaign as Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai threw the challenge and stated why the former Vice President quit the All Progressives Congress  APC  –  there was no room for him to run for the President after Governors endorsed Buhari for a second term.

IPOB Chides EFCC For Detaining Chukwuma, Innoson Boss

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has condemned in its strongest terms the recent and ongoing harassment of notable Biafran businessmen especially those of Igbo extraction by the Nigerian security agencies, saying the Tuesday arrest of Chief Innocent Chukwuma by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) was a calculated attempt to de-industrialise Igbo land.

In a statement by the Media/National Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, which was made available to newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday, the Igbo group said, “the few successful businesses that made it against all odds like Chief Innocent Chukwuma the owner of Innoson Motors who is now being harassed and humiliated publicly by agencies headed by Northerners”

According to him, “The impotency of political leadership in the East, coupled with intellectual myopia of the governing class remains the leading contributing factor to the unrelenting humiliation of leading figures from both the South East/South South by Arewa North and her paramilitary institutions.

The IPOB Spokesman noted, “Had Innoson sited his factory in Lagos or Kaduna, every possible line of credit would have been extended to him but due to the fact his company is located in Enugu, he must be chased down and destroyed. This hopefully is to serve as a deterrent to others who might be entertaining the idea of relocating their businesses to Biafra land.

The statement further reads:

“Politics of appeasement and sabotage of collective interest by Ohaneze Ndigbo, PANDEF and similar interest groups. Age-long South East/South South political philosophy of cowardly acquiescence to the dictates of the North, regardless of the consequences on the psyche and well-being of the masses, is a major motivator for government agencies, headed by Northerners, to destroy indigenous Biafran businessmen at will.

“Nigeria is guided by the knowledge that politicians from the two geo-political zones that make up Biafra are terrified of the mythical might of their Northern masters and will be prepared to condone every manner of evil against their own people.

“Ohaneze Ndigbo and South East governors are to blame for this major embarrassment and humiliation of the topmost entrepreneur in black Africa. What Innoson Motors has accomplished so far, no Indigenous business in Sub-Saharan Africa has been able to do.

“If Innoson Motors were owned by a Northern Hausa Fulani man, he would have been revered and idolised to high heavens. But because it is a business owned and run by a
Biafran and equally sited in Biafraland, it must be destroyed.

“Since the emergence of this Buhari regime, Biafrans of Igbo extraction has been lurching from one persecution another. After Operation Python Dance which had the backing of Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership and South East governors, the Buhari regime have turned it’s attention to the destruction of economic interests in the South East starting with Innoson Motors, in the hope of frustrating the first indigenous automobile company in West Africa because he opened his factory in Igboland.

“The effect of this ongoing persecution of Innoson Motors Company is as a direct result of the impotence of Igbo leadership exemplified by Nwodo’s stewardship of Ohaneze Ndigbo.

“Today, the effects of the age-long sabotage of public interest by the likes of Ohaneze Ndigbo and imposed political leadership have started manifesting negatively on our people. Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Governors Forum and Arewa Caucuses in the National Assembly will never allow Dangote to be humiliated the same way Ohaneze, South East governors and Abuja based politicians allowed Chief Chukwuma to be so publicly insulted.

“We are warning those involved in the orchestrated campaign to frustrate Innoson Motors to desist from their evil act before it is too late.

JUST IN: EFCC Arrests Innocent Chukwuma, Innoson Motors Chairman

The chairman of the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), Chief Innocent Chukwuma has been arrested by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Enugu.

The operatives of the anti-graft agency as well as armed policemen had stormed the residence of the IVM owner located at Savage Crescent, GRA, Enugu as early as 7:30am Tuesday to effect his arrest.

There was however an initial resistance by the security men at the residence as they refused the EFCC operatives entry resulting in the firing of teargas by the policemen accompanying the EFCC men.

They equally cordoned off all the exit routes from the residence creating gridlocks as most people who were involved in early morning activities experience delays.

The operatives later succeeded in gaining access to the building after overpowering Chukwuma’s security men as they eventually took him away.

Details late…….

EFCC Arrests Innoson Motors CEO, Innocent Chukwuma

The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Innoson Group, Innocent Chukwuma, has been arrested by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The development was made public in a series of tweets on Tuesday by the indigenous automobile company, where it disclosed that its CEO was arrested without prior invitation.

Innoson accused GTB of being behind the arrest, an allegation the company denied.

The company wrote via @innosonmotors, “GTB vs Innoson ‘illegal Arrest’ hundreds of factory workers from Innoson factory Emene Enugu protests the illegal bundling of Innoson to Lagos by EFCC organised by GTB.

“Like a commando style, GTB uses EFFC to storm Innoson Enugu Residential Home to bundle him to Lagos like a common criminal without any prior invitation.

In November, the company said the police had withdrawn the charges against Chukwuma.

The dispute between the company and GTB began in 2012.