The Federal High Court has ordered the immediate arrest of the Chairman of Innoson Motors, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, and two others. The court sitting in Lagos granted a bench warrant filed against Chukwuma by a Director in the Ministry of Justice.
Justice Ayokunle Faji granted the request made by the prosecutor, Mr Julius Ajakaiye to arrest Innocent Chukwuma, Charles Chukwu, and Anajekwu Sunny. Ajakaiye had informed the court that the warrant of arrest was pursuant to sections 113, 114 and 395 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
The arrest order was made because of Chukwu, Sunny and Innoson founder’s refusal to present themselves in the court. The three, alongside Innoson Motors and a shipping company, Mitsui Osk, were charged before the court on four counts bordering on conspiracy, forgery, and fraud to the tune of N2.4 billion.
The criminal charge was made against them by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) through the Federal Ministry of Justice sometime in December 2015. However, only the shipping company has appeared in court.
Efforts to evade arrest: The arrest warrant had been pending in the Federal High Court because Innoson and the other defendants challenged the service of the charge and the warrant of arrest on them by filing two appeals at the Court of Appeal.
While the appeal court discharged Innoson Motors, it, however, dismissed their appeals as regards to Innocent Chukwuma, Charles Chukwu, and Anajekwu Sunny. This decision enabled the court to rule today on the motion for their arrest.
According to Justice Faji during his ruling, Innoson and other defendants have not yet taken their pleas. Therefore, their challenge of the service of the charge and other issues raised by them are not substantial as of yet.
“The issues raised by the defendants challenging the charge can only come up after their pleas have been taken. The prosecution’s application has merit.
“Consequently, warrant of arrest is hereby ordered to be issued against the first defendant, Innocent Chukwuma, second defendant, Charles Chukwu and the third defendant, Anajekwu Sunny.”
The court set Friday, June 28, 2019 for the arraignment of Chukwuma, Chukwu, and Sunny after another prosecutor, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), requested for a date to arraign them having informed the court that the charge had been filed since 2015.