A federal high court sitting in Lagos has adjourned till 23rd of June 2016 for the arraignment of owner of the first indigenous motor manufacturing company, Innocent Chukwuma, and his company Innoson Nigeria Limited, and four others accused of forgery.
The arraignment that was earlier scheduled for Wednesday did not hold due to the absence of the presiding judge Saliu Saidu, who is attending seminar alongside other judges of the Federal high court.
The court had authorized the attorney General of Federation to commence the prosecution of the Lagos businessman Innocent Chukwuma, his company Innoson Nigeria Limited and four others for alleged forgery offences.
The order of the presiding judge,Saliu Saidu was based on an application filed before the court by Federal ministry of Justice that the Attorney General of the Federation has taken over the prosecution of the accused persons, which the prosecutor from the office of the Inspector General of Police objected.
However after listening to the submission of the counsel of the two parties, the court decided that the Attorney General of the Federation should go ahead with the prosecution of the accused persons.
Consequently, the Attorney General has filed four count amended criminal charge against the accused persons.
Other four accused persons to be arraigned alongside the accused businessman, are Charles Chukwu, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines, and Annajekwu Sunny.
In a four count amended criminal charge number FHC /L/565/C/2015 filed before the court by Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Federal ministry of Justice Mohammed Saidu Diri, it was alleged that, Innoson Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma, Charles, Chukwu, maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Annajekwu Sunny between January, 2010 and April, 2011 at Apapa Wharf criminally conspired amongst themselves to wit, falsification of Shipping Documents which they deposited with Mitsui Osk Lines Lagos, which was used as collateral for the purpose of clearance of raw materials polyinlchloride (PVC )for the production of roof ceiling and other imported items.
Mr. Diri alleged further that all the accused persons same time and place did without lawful authority and with intent to defraud, altered the shipping clearance documents to the shipping Line Mitsui Osk Lines, which was used as collateral for the purpose of obtaining a loan of N2.4billion from Guaranty Trust bank PLC for the purpose of clearing raw materials Polyvinylchloride for the production of roof ceiling and other imported items.
The accused persons were also alleged to have falsely and fraudulently presented as genuine, the altered shipping documents and presented same to Guaranty Trust bank Plc to obtain a loan of N2.4billion.
All the offences alleged to have been committed by the accused persons are contrary to and punishable under sections 3(6),1(2)(C) of the miscellaneous offences Act Cap. M 17 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
Thereafter, Justice Saidu adjourned till yesterday for the accused persons to be arraigned but the court did not sit.
Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, popularly known as Innoson is the Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Co. Ltd, the first indigenous vehicle manufacturing plant in Nigeria.
His business has expanded into four manufacturing companies namely: Innoson Nigeria Limited Nnewi, manufacturers of motorcycles, tri-cycles, spare parts and accessories; Innoson Tech. & Industries Co. Ltd Enugu, manufacturers of Household and Industrial Plastics, Health & Safety accessories, Storage containers, Fixtures & Fittings, Electrical components & accessories; Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Nnewi, manufacturers of Capacity City bus, Mini & Midi buses, Pick-Up trucks and Garbage Collecting vehicles; General Tyres & Tubes Co. Ltd Enugu, manufacturers of Tyres and Tubes.