- Justice Olusola Williams of an Ikeja high court has struck out the case against Innocent Chukuwuma
- This followed EFCC failure to produce Innoson in court to face trial
- The justice noted that the EFCC had the responsibility to produce Innoson but they never did
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s fraud case against Innocent Chukuwuma (aka Innoson), chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, was on Wednesday, October 10, struck out.
Justice Olusola Williams of an Ikeja high court struck out the case after EFCC failed to produce Innoson in court to face trial.
The justice noted that the EFCC had the responsibility to produce Innoson but they never did.
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“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.
Tribune reports that during proceedings, Ms Zainab Ettu, EFCC counsel, informed the court that Innoson has been hiding from the anti-graft agency.
“My Lord, the defendant has been giving briefs to counsels but has never deemed it fit to appear in court.
“While we continue to pursue the arrest of the defendant, it behoves on the defendant’s counsels as Ministers in the temple of Justice to produce their client.
“They need to perform their duty to the court and ensure that their client comes to court. If they can collect briefs from him, then they should know where he is,” Ettu said, adding that the anti-graft agency is optimistic about arresting Innoson.
“We already have a warrant for his arrest, as the court has declared him wanted. The counsels to the defendant have brought numerous applications, trying to stall the matter,” Ettu added.
In his response, Professor J.N Mbaduga, Innoson’s counsel, told the court that the EFCC filed a similar suit marked FHC/L/565c before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
“While the suit was still pending, the EFCC went ahead and filed another suit with the same subject matter against the defendants.
“Some of the facts arising from the case have even proceeded before the Supreme Court. We raised a preliminary objection citing abuse of court processes. We also raised objections on the grounds that the defendant has not been served with the charges.
“My Lord until the EFCC can produce the defendant in court, the court cannot exercise any jurisdiction over the defendant,” he said.
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Legit.ng had reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission iled a fraud charge against Mr Innocent Chukwuma, alias Innoson, his company Innoson Nigeria Limited and his brother Charles Chukwuma.
The charge was dated 30 November, 2017 and filed at a Lagos High Court.
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