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The defence counsel apologised to the court saying he had withdrawn his earlier statements.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

Corruption Charges: Arraignment Of Justice Yinusa Stalled

The planned arraignment of a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Mohammed Yinusa failed to go on at the Lagos High Court Sitting in Ikeja today.

A Registrar of the court told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) that Justice Mojisola Dada would not be hearing the case and had, in fact, sent the case file back to the Chief Judge of Lagos for re-assignment to another judge.

No reason was given for this development.

It was gathered that Justice Dada is the second judge to decline on hearing the case.

The first is Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye.

Despite the arraignment being stalled, Justice Yinusa was present in court but left immediately he heard that the matter would not go on. His co-defendant, Esther Agbo, a staff of the Law Firm of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Rickey Tarfa was however absent in court.

Journalists obtained a copy of the five count charge sheet.

In the first Count, Justice Yinusa is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by engaging in constant private and confidential telephone communications with Mr Rickey Tarfa, SAN during a period he presided over two of the Senior advocate’s matter.

In the second count, Justice Yinusa is charged with corruption for allegedly receiving the sum of N1.5millio paid to him by his co-defendant, Esther Agbo in other to give decisions in favour of the Chambers of the Law Firm of Rickey Tarfa.

In the third count, Justice Yinusa is charged with agreeing to receive financial benefit from another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Joseph Nwobike in other to give favourable decisions in the cases of the said lawyer before him.

In count four, the EFCC alleged that Justice Yinusa received the sum of N750,000 from Mr Nwobike and in the fifth charge, Esther Agbo is charged with offering gratification of NI.5m to Justice Yinusa in order to induce him to give decisions in favour of the Law Chambers of Rickey Tarfa.