Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman of Innoson Motors, has stated that his declaration as a wanted man by a Lagos court is aimed to “defame me and malign my character.”
Chukwuma reacted to declaration by Justice Mojisola Dada, who presided over a Lagos State Special Offences Court on Thursday in a statement issued on his behalf by Cornel Osigwe, Head of Corporate Communications at Innoson Group.
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“Declaring me wanted was done in bad faith and is simply to embarrass my personality, defame me and malign my character aimed to distract me from my daily activities in ensuring that Innoson Vehicles continues to produce durable made in Nigeria vehicles”, he said.
Chukwuma said he had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case since a similar matter is pending before the Federal High Court in Lagos. He also noted that he had petitioned the trial judge at the National Judicial Council over her partiality in the case.
He, however, express surprised at his declaration by the court “without recourse to due process of the law.”
Chukwuma said, “It must be noted that I, through my legal counsel, challenged the jurisdiction of the Lagos State High Court to hear the forgery charge filed against me by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on ground of, inter alia, the charge being an abuse of process.
“I filed an application before the court that this present charge is an abuse of process because a similar charge on the same subject matter, transactions and issues is ongoing at the Federal High Court Lagos Division between the same parties, in charge no FHC/l/565c/2015.
“Furthermore, my legal counsel had at the last court hearing on April 25th 2018 notified the court that I had challenged the Jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division and that the prosecuting counsels which are the EFCC has equally filed their brief at the Appellate Court. The judge subsequently adjourned the hearing to today, May 24th 2018.
“However, the judge failed to grant the prayers of my legal counsel and quickly granted the plea of the prosecuting counsel to declare me wanted without recourse to due process of the law or listen to the submissions of my counsel on why an order declaring me wanted should not be made.”
Chukwuma, who declared that he is not afraid of being tried, expressed confidence that he would prevail against the “trumped up charge.”