EFCC Arrests Innoson Motors Boss, Innocent Chukwuma


The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Innoson Group, Innocent Chukwuma, has been arrested by law enforcement officers said to be from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The development was made public in a series of tweets on Tuesday by the indigenous automobile company, where it disclosed that its CEO was arrested without prior invitation.

The company wrote via @innosonmotors:

“GTB vs Innoson ‘illegal Arrest’ hundreds of factory workers from Innoson factory Emene Enugu protests the illegal bundling of Innoson to Lagos by EFCC organised by GTB.

“Like a commando style, GTB uses EFFC to storm Innoson Enugu Residential Home to bundle him to Lagos like a common criminal without any prior invitation”.

It was also learnt from a spokesperson for the company, Cornel Osigwe, that Mr. Chukwuma was arrested at his residence in Enugu around 9:00 a.m. on December 18.

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“His arrest is in connection to the ongoing case he has with GTBank,” Mr. Osigwe said by telephone.

According to Mr. Osigwe, his principal was accused of jumping bail, wondering how someone who was never invited by the EFCC much less being arrested would be accused of fleeing from the law.

“He was never invited by the EFCC, we challenge them to come forward with any evidence showing that he jumped bail,” Mr. Osigwe said. “This is GTBank using federal authorities to persecute an illustrious citizen who has done a lot to improve the economic development of this country.”

Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman for the anti-graft commission, said he had not been briefed about the arrest when reached for comments while a spokesperson for GTBank, Meksley Nwagboh, denied the bank’s involvement in the arrest.

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Nwagboh said that if the “EFCC arrested him they will be in a best position to comment on the reason for his arrest.”

The dispute between the company and Guarantee Trust Bank began in 2012.

Innoson Group had accused  GTB of being indebted to the indigenous auto manufacturing company up to N8.5 billion in a series of damages that stemmed from illegal service deductions by the bank.

An initial fraud case brought against Mr. Chukwuma was withdrawn earlier this year. But the Attorney-General Abubakar Malami revived the case at the Federal High Court in Abuja as GTBank insists on its allegations that Mr. Chukwuma manipulated bank and shipping documents to obtain tax waivers from the Nigerian government.