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EFCC Files Fraud Charges Against Innoson Boss Chukwuma



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  (EFCC) has filed a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense,  obtaining property by false pretense, stealing and forgery against Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman of Innoson Nigeria Limited, and his company.

Joined in the suit is his brother,  Mr. Charles Chukwuma. The charges, according to court papers sighted by SaharaReporters, were filed on November 30 before the Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court. The charge sheet was signed by Mr. ABC Ozioko, Head of Legal and Prosecutions Unit at the Lagos office of the EFCC.

According to the first count, the accused, between 2009 and 2011, conspired to obtain by false pretense containers of motorcycle spare parts and raw materials from Mistui OSK Limited, a company based in Apapa, Lagos.

The alleged offense,  stated the court papers,  was contrary to Section 8 (a) and 13 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.

The items listed are said to be the property of Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank). In the second count, the EFCC alleged that the accused bribed staff of Mistui OSK and Maersk Line Limited to deliver to them, through their clearing agents, containers of motorcycle spare parts, moulds of plastic parts, steel structures as well as raw materials called polyvinichlorid imported into Nigeria from China in the name of GT Bank as the consignee by pretending they had the authority of the bank to clear the items and took delivery of same.

The alleged offense, the EFCC said,  is a contravention of sections 11 (1)(b) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act.

Mr. Chukwuma was arrested by the EFCC on December 19, 2017at his Enugu home after a standoff with EFCC agents. The anti-corruption agency said Mr. Chukwuma had consistently refused to honor their summons and that his arrest was preparatory to his arraignment for the charges laid out in the document released today.

Mr. Chukwuma’s arrest had caused an uproar in the country as several interests gave different interpretations to his arrest, with lawmakers at the Nigerian Senate seizing on the moment to lash out against the EFCC. A source at the EFCC told Saharareporters that Mr. Chukwuma will soon be officially arraigned in Lagos to face the charges in court.

The anti-graft commission also alleged that Mr. Chukwuma,  his company and brother stole the items, which were the property of the bank,  an offense contrary to sections 308 and 309 (9) of the Criminal Code of Lagos State.

In the fourth charge, the EFCC alleged that Mr. Chukwuma, his company, and brother forged bills of lading (No. 598286020) of Maersk Line Limited and No. Malu 110795084 of Mistui OSK Line Limited by putting a forged GT Bank staff on it to clear the items. The alleged offense, said the EFCC,  is contrary to sections 465 and 467 (1) (J) of the Lagos State Criminal Code.

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