The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has given reasons why the agency arrested the Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma.
The EFCC which claimed that the Innoson boss was arrested for alleged tax fraud and forgery.
He was arrested on Tuesday at about 11:00 am at his Savage Crescent, GRA Enugu residence where his staff allegedly put up resistance against his arrest but EFCC operatives finally had their way and whisked him away to their Enugu office.
EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement said:
“His arrest followed his refusal to honour invitation by the Commission having earlier jumped an administrative bail granted him in a case being investigated by the Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Unit of the Commission’s Lagos office.
“Chukwuma rather than honouring invitation by the EFCC, mobilized six truckloads of thugs pretending to be staff of his company to his residence, where they manhandled EFCC operatives.
“It took reinforcement from the Enugu office of the EFCC to effect the arrest of the industrialist who is currently being grilled by a team of investigators.”
Speaking with Vanguard while in EFCC custody in Enugu, Chukwuma said Guarantee Trust Bank, GTB, owed him undisclosed sum of money of which a court decided the matter in his favour “but instead of the bank paying me my money, they are using EFCC to intimidate me.”
He promised to give details of the transaction and his encounter with the EFCC, once he was through with the agency.
EFCC’s Media Officer in Enugu, Mr. Chris Oluka, who confirmed his arrest in Enugu, said there was resistance by the business mogul before his arrest. “He did put up some resistance by using some trucks to block our way to his residence but we finally arrested him,” said Oluka.
Meanwhile, EFCC, yesterday, December 20, flew Chief Innocent Chukwuma to Lagos in shorts, according to one of his aides. He was, however, released, last night.
The agency which confirmed the release, flew him to Lagos wearing only shorts and a shirt through Air Peace flight that left Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, at 1:45pm.
Chukwuma was driven in a convoy from the EFCC Enugu office where he was detained after his forcible arrest at his Enugu residence, Tuesday.
A staff of Innoson Company said the businessman was neither allowed to take his bath nor change his wears since he was arrested by the EFCC on Tuesday morning.
Head, Corporate Communications of Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, in a statement in Enugu, yesterday, insisted that Chukwuma is not a criminal and was never invited by the EFCC before the arrest.
Osigwe denied that Chukwuma was being investigated by the Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Unit of the commission’s Lagos office and challenged the EFCC to prove its invitation to Chukwuma which he failed to honour that necessitated invasion of his residence.
He also said Chukwuma never jumped any administrative bail or made attempts at resisting arrest as claimed by the EFCC, adding that “Dr Chukwuma (OFR) is a law abiding citizen, a public figure and a well known industrialist of international repute.
“He couldn’t have been invited by the EFCC and he would ignore or refuse to honour the invitation.” Osigwe further said: “Dr Chukwuma has never had any issues or query from the EFCC recently”.