The media rage and saga between Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), may not end anytime soon, as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) vowed to ensure the arrest of the company’s Chairman, Innocent Chukwuma.
In a statement by EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren shortly after Justice Olusola Williams of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, struck out the case of fraud it instituted against Chukwuma, the anti-graft agency discloses its commitment of ensuring Chukwuma face fraud charges in court.
The court, according to reports, struck out the case after EFCC failed to produce Chukwuma in court for trial.
Following the court’s ruling and EFCC’s vow to prosecute Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited’s Chairman, Nigerians in thousand have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure about the long-term tussle between GTB, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma and EFCC.
Incase you're still wondering what the #DesperateGTB hashtag is about, here you have it. This is a column from yesterday's @Punchnewspaper . How this will end, nobody knows 🤔but time will tell. pic.twitter.com/WPHUgDAtE8
— Boaz Abigail (Abbie) (@boazabbie) October 12, 2018
@AJTweete tweeted; “EFCC bent on prosecuting Innoson, but upon reading the publication of
@MobilePunch, I’m sorry but EFCC’s story doesn’t add up. When did GTB started importing bike?”
@Opoyochuks tweeted; “THE
@OfficialEFCC SHOULD FOLLOW DUE PROCESS OF LAW IN PROSECUTING INNOSON”
However, Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, were to be arraigned on four counts of conspiracy to obtain by false pretences, obtaining by false pretences, stealing and forgery. The defendants allegedly committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.
How the saga began
Innoson Motors was involved in a N2.4 billion fraud scandal with GTB, which became public in 2017. The saga gained publicity following the arrest of the Innonson chairman by EFCC.
Following his arrest, Innoson took the battle to social media with campaigns against the bank such as #BewareOfGTBank and #WhatIsWrongWithGTBank.
In 2009, GTB granted Innoson several credit facilities and under the loan terms agreed by the transportation company on behalf of Chukwuma, proprietary interest in the imported goods are exclusively that of GTB. The original shipping documents were in the custody of the bank, and have remained in the custody of the bank and ownership could only be transferred to Innoson (or any other third party) by the bank when the condition in the agreement is reached.
It was learnt that Chukwuma approached the bank, on behalf of Innoson for the documents and was declined due to their failure to meet the agreed conditions, but in June 2011, the bank noticed that the imported goods had been procured by Innoson without its consent.
The bank’s endorsement on the bills of lading to the Shipping Line was forged as the original documents were still in the possession of the bank. GTB reported the case to the Nigeria Police and consequently, the police commenced an investigation into the bank’s complaint, including a forensic examination of the disputed signatures, and established that the signatures of the bank’s staff were forged, and the imported goods were fraudulently cleared from the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Chukwuma was arrested by EFCC in his residence in Enugu in December, 2017 for interrogations in Lagos over the alleged scandal.
The anti-graft agency also claims Chukwuma was arrested because of an alleged fraud case at Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and forgery of documents to obtain tax waivers.
#EndSARS: Governor Uzodimma approves N2bn for youth empowerment after talks with protesters
Governor Uzodinma has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment.
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment, following a fruitful meeting with a group of youths associated with the #EndSARS movement in the State.
This disclosure was made by Governor Hope Uzodinma in his statement today, during his third state Broadcast to the people of Imo State, this week.
1/BROADCAST BY GOVERNOR HOPE UZODINMA OF IMO STATE ON SATURDAY OCTOBER 24TH, 2020 pic.twitter.com/OmWNbzzDyq
— Hope Uzodimma (@Hope_Uzodimma1) October 24, 2020
The Governor in his statement said that his heart is gladdened that a vast majority of the youth heeded the clarion calls to call off the #EndSARS protests, having laid down their points unmistakably.
However, he revealed that in line with his determination to address the needs of the youth and empower them, he has approved an immediate release of a take-off fund of N2 billion for the empowerment of youth in the state.
He reiterated that the task is not complete until every single youth is pulled off our streets and kept a safe distance away from the reach of some unscrupulous elements whose demonic desire is to unleash endless carnage in some parts of the state.
What you should know
Recall that the governor on the met with a group of youths embedded in the EndSARS protests. The group was made up of youth leaders from all parts of the country comprising leaders from the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Areewa, Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Hausa, Fulani, Middle belt and Niger Delta Youths
However, during his interface with the youth, he assured them of a dedicated empowerment package, as part of his administration’s determination to address the needs of the youths and quell their dissatisfaction.
- The N2 billion take-off fund will be deployed for the training of the first batch of the beneficiaries, which will commence next week. The N2billion take-off fund is to be taken from the N6 billion earmarked for the accelerated youth empowerment programme.
- The empowerment programme is under the Imo State Special Youth Empowerment and Intervention Programme (IMYEIP). The State’s Ministry of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship is directly charged with its immediate implementation.
- The programme is to begin training of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Batches of an estimated number of 500, 000 Imo youths in different skills acquisition programmes within the next two years, and provide them with start-up capital to begin their own enterprises.
- The training time table will be rolled out on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020.
- The 5000 Imo Youths who have already been trained in different skills under the IMYEIP platform, are to be given their start-up capital very soon.
Tinubu visits Sanwo-Olu, speaks on recent violence in the state, travelling out of the country
Tinubu has spoken up about some of the happenings that have led to the recent unrest in Lagos State.
The former Lagos State Governor and the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reacted to the outbreak of violence during the #EndSARS protest which has led to the destruction and looting of public and private infrastructure in the state.
He lamented the invasion and wanton looting and burning of public and private assets in the state of late, including police stations.
This was made known by Tinubu during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at State House Marina, to commiserate with him on the recent violence in the state, sympathize with the victims through him and seek his permission to visit some of the victims.
While addressing journalists after the meeting with the governor, Tinubu said he asked him if he had ordered the attack on #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday.
He also said that he did not travel out of the country as reported by some sections of the media, who claimed that he had travelled to France and the UK.
Tinubu said, “I didn’t go nowhere; I’m a Lagosian and I still hold the title of Asiwaju of Lagos and I am still a Jagaban. Fake news is all over the place. They say Seyi my son was kidnapped and was chased but look at him. I didn’t pay a penny to bring him here.
On the investigation and compensation for victims of violence, Tinubu said, “First, we have to segregate the calendar, those who suffered casualty before the protests from the hands of SARS. You have to separate that from those who suffered casualty due to what happened at the toll gate.
“For those who suffered casualty from SARS, the Commission of Inquiry that is already set up will unearth that and will make their recommendations. I trust the calibre and the character of the people there, they are independent. That is one.
“Those who suffered casualty during the gunshots need to answer some questions too, how are they there? How long were they there? What kind of characters are they? Even though we want to help, we still must extract information that will help the government to prepare in future and understand how and when to react because the governor, in particular, is a youth.’’
Going further, he said, “As a youth himself, he (Sanwo-Olu) quickly went to Abuja with the 5/5. The government immediately put into action, dissolved the SARS and had to work through other recommended actions, the needs they demanded. Within a few days, he reported back to the public. That is responsive enough.
“But where are we getting the looting, the carnage, the burning, the invasion of police stations, stealing of arms, maiming of the innocent? It is a handshake beyond the elbow.”
Tinubu has been under intense media attack over the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday. He was accused of being the mastermind of the incident because of his alleged interest in the tollgate which has been blocked for about 2 weeks, an allegation he has denied.
The hoodlums had burnt down some businesses allegedly linked to him in the course of the violence that erupted in Lagos. They include Oriental Hotel, Television Continental (TVC) and Nations newspaper.
#EndSARS: IGP orders immediate mobilisation of officers to restore normalcy
The IGP has directed officers to take control of the current unrest and breakdown of law and order in some parts of the country.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the unrest.
This was made known via the official Twitter handle of the Nigerian Police Force, @PoliceNG, in a statement titled, “RECLAIM THE PUBLIC SPACE AND RESTORE NORMALCY – IGP ORDERS AIGs, CPs, PMF, CTU & SPU COMMANDERS”.
According to the statement, the IGP has directed the officers to reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters in some parts of the country.
The IGP gave the order to all Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), Heads of Police Operational Units, Squadron and Base Commanders in charge of Zonal/State/FCT Commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit.
RECLAIM THE PUBLIC SPACE AND RESTORE NORMALCY – IGP ORDERS AIGs, CPs, PMF, CTU & SPU COMMANDERS
•Says Enough is Enough
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) October 24, 2020
The statement read in part, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property, and reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters in some parts of the country.
“In addition, CPs/Heads of Police Formations in the various states have also been charged to mobilize their men and work in sync with the Command CPs in the areas where they are domiciled, to dominate the public space and ensure peace and safety in the affected areas.
“The IGP, while noting that enough is enough to all acts of lawlessness, disruption of public peace and order and wanton violence which have resulted to indiscriminate looting of shops, malls and warehouses, damage to property and loss of lives in some parts of the country.”
The IGP further enjoined law-abiding citizens not to panic but rather join forces with the police and other members of the law enforcement community to protect their communities from the criminal elements. He also called for “the understanding and cooperation of the citizens, assuring that the action is geared towards ensuring public order and safety and public security in our communities.”
What you should know
In the last few days, several parts of the country, especially Lagos, Cross River and Delta have witnessed a rise in civil unrest as hoodlums torched down Police stations, government properties and have also looted and destroyed several private businesses.
The recent unrests could be traced to the hijacking of peaceful protests organised by #EndSARS agitators who took to the streets of many Nigerian cities in the last two weeks to demand the dissolution of a notorious police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, better known as SARS, who has been alleged to be involved in a countless number of harassment, extortion, abduction, armed robbery and murder of innocent citizens.