Justice Mojisola Dada of the special offences court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday declared the Chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd, Innocent Chukwuma wanted over his failure to make an appearance in court for his arraignment for the fifth time.
Chukwuma, alias Innoson is standing trial in a matter between his company and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Dada had declared the automobile boss wanted, granting the request of Mr Anselem Ozioko, the lead prosecuting counsel of the EFCC.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Innoson had previously failed to make an appearance in court for his arraignment on Jan. 17, Feb. 9, March 14 and April 25.
His failure to appear before the court for five consecutive times informed the issuance of bench warrant.
During the proceedings of March 14, it was revealed that Innoson had petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) over Justice Mojisola Dada, the judge trying the case.
Ozioko in his submission seeking the declaration of Innoson wanted said: “This appears to be the fifth time this matter is coming up before your Lordship for arraignment.
“The learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria representing the second defendant (Innoson) is still insisting on taking his application without ensuring the defendant is physically present in court.
“The question is, where is the second defendant? Is he too big for the court? Is he too big for the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Is he too big because he has money? Where is he?
“What my learned friends, the defence counsel are doing is contemptuous.
“We shall be applying for an order to declare the second defendant wanted.”
Acceding to Ozioko’s request, Justice Dada said, “The second defendant is hereby declared wanted and the case adjourned until June 22 for possible arraignment.”
Earlier, during the proceedings, Ozioko had informed the court that the anti-graft agency will also be taking some steps to ensure Innoson’s attendance in court on the next adjourned date.
Counsel to Innoson, Mr George Uwechue (SAN) had requested that the court hear his application despite Justice Dada’s declaration that no application will be heard until Innoson is physically present in court.
“At the last hearing, the court maintained its position that it will not take its pending application unless the first defendant is arraigned.
“We were about to cite our position regarding the court’s declaration but we were interrupted by the prosecuting counsel and that interruption led to today’s proceedings.
“Whatever we did that day, we sincerely apologize; we urge this court to allow us to continue our presentation.’’
Prof. J. N Mbadugha, counsel to Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd, in his submission told the court that he had an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
Mbadugha informed the court that he had made an appeal at the Court of Appeal over the case.
Justice Dada however maintained her position that the applications of the defence will not be heard until Innoson is physically present in court.
NAN reports that Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd, are to be arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretences, obtaining property by false pretences, stealing and forgery.
According to the charge sheet, the defendants committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants with intent to defraud; conspired to obtain by false pretences containers of motorcycle, spare parts and raw materials, property of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) from Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Apapa, Lagos.
They are alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them via their clearing agents the goods which were imported from China in the name of GTB by falsely pretending that they were authorised by the bank to clear the goods.
The prosecution claimed that the defendants in order to facilitate the fraud forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mutsui O.S.K Lines by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank staff.
The alleged forgery was in order that the forged documents be used or acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of any person within Lagos or elsewhere.
The offences contravened Sections 1(1)(b), 1(3), and 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2016 and Sections 309(9), 388, 465 and 467(1)(j) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State 2003
Osun Economic Summit: FG to Site Specialised Agricultural Market In Ijebu – Jesa
The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to site a specialised agricultural produce and international fish market in Ijebu –Jesa, Oriade Local Government Area of Osun.
The Osun state Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Adedayo Adewole disclosed this at a meeting of the Project Implementation Committee (PIC) in Osogbo, the state capital.
Adedayo explained that the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, in conjunction with Agricultural Traders Welfare Association (ATWA), would be executing the project in the state.
According to the Commissioner, the project is a fallout of the economic and investment summit organised by the state government in November 2019 and targeted at boosting the economy of the state.
He said apart from the fact that the project upon implementation would boost the economy of Osun, it would also boost the business of fish farmers and marketers in the state and its environs .
Earlier, the representative of the PIC, Dr Joseph Okeke, lauded the state government for promoting discussion of the economic transformation of the state and Nigeria in general through agriculture and agricultural value chain.
Okeke, who also doubles as the National President of ATWA, noted that the project was targeted towards economic diversification by the Federal Government in the area of specialised agricultural market.
“It is also geared toward job creation, enhancing economic activities and facilitating exportation of Nigerian commodities”, he added.
The committee, comprising of the project facilitator, Dr Gabriel Eniola, Osun Fish Farmers Association Chairman, Mr Tope Ogundipe and Osun Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning, Mr Nathaniel Agunbiade among others later inspected the site.
Adewale Raji gets another term as Odu’a Investment GMD
Odu’a Investments Limited on Tuesday reappointed its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (GMD/CEO), Mr Adewale Raji for another term.
Contained in a statement issued by the company, Mr Raji’s reappointment followed an endorsement of his performance by the international auditing and management consultancy firm, KPMG, engaged by the six owner states of Osun, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti and Lagos to evaluate his performance in the last five years.
With his fresh appointment, Raji will now lead the conglomerate for another five years.
It would be recalled that his five-year tenure had expired on May 31, 2019 but the shareholders granted him a six-month extension to allow KPMG assess his performance. However, following a satisfactory evaluation, the shareholders at a meeting held on October 28, 2019 renewed his appointment for another term of five years with effect from June 1, 2019 and the Board also ratified the appointment.
No doubt, Raji’s first tenure witnessed significant growth in the Profit Before Tax from N378m and N495m in 2013 to N849m and N1.061b in 2018 for the holding company and the group respectively. In the same five-year period, a gross dividend of N1.208b was paid out to shareholders which is a record of consecutive dividend payout in the history of the company.
His team initiated new businesses, particularly in agric-business and processing and the company was better managed with a very high sense of accountability and transparency while upholding the principles of corporate governance and safeguarding the interest of shareholders.
30 Shops In Gbagi Marked For Demolition
At least about 20 to 30 shops housed by Bola Ige International Business Complex, Gbagi, Ibadan have been marked for demolition by the Oyo state government.
The government said as part of its efforts in restoring the popular market back to international standard, the identified shops which it described as illegally built would be demolished.
The state commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Investment, Hon. Adeniyi Adebisi, informed that the action became necessary in restoring Bola Ige International Business Complex, Gbagi, Ibadan back to international standard as provided in the master plan of the market so as to create a conducive environment for businesses within the State to thrive.
The Commissioner further added that the task force committee set up by Governor Seyi Makinde to restructure the business complex has submitted its report and implementation would follow in due course.
He, however assured the market men and women that the state government remained committed to providing them the basic facilities that would promote the economic activities in the market.
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