Chairman of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Innoson Group, Dr. Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma
A Lagos High Court in Ikeja yesterday struck out a suit against the Chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, Chukwuma Innoson, over alleged forgery
This follows the inability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce him in court.
In striking out the matter, Justice Olushola Williams said a criminal matter could always be instituted whenever the prosecution is prepared.
He said: “The prosecution is well aware that it is its duty to produce a defendant in court. This court is not inclined to continue to waste Lagos taxpayers’ money. This court cannot continue to waste precious time calling a case that is going nowhere.
“It is a criminal matter that can be instituted anytime. I advise that the prosecution gets its acts together before coming to court. I am inclined to strike out this case and I so do.”
The EFCC had filed the fraud charge against Innoson and his company, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court in January.
They were to be arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretence, stealing and forgery in a transaction with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).
The prosecution alleged that the defendants committed the offences in Lagos between 2009 and July 2011.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants had intent to defraud, conspired to obtain by false pretence containers of motorcycles spare parts and raw materials, properties of GTB from Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Apapa, Lagos.
They were alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them, via their clearing agents, the goods which were imported from China in the name of GTB, by falsely pretending to be authorised by the bank to clear the goods.
The prosecution further claimed that the defendants in order to facilitate the fraud, forged a Bill of Laden of Maersk Line Limited numbered 598286020, and 11007950841 of Mutsui O.S.K Lines by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank staff.