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For the sixth time, Innoson fails to appear in court

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Innocent Chukwuma, the Chairman of Innoson Motors Ltd, on Wednesday in Lagos failed to appear for his scheduled arraignment for the sixth time over alleged fraud.
Innoson was scheduled to appear before a new judge, Justice Olusola Williams, at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Mojisola Dada, the judge initially assigned to hear the case, had withdrawn following Innoson’s February 12 petition to the National Judicial Council.
The NJC while absolving Dada of any wrongdoing, recommended that the case be reassigned by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, to another judge, and was subsequently reassigned to Williams.
Following the absence of the automobile CEO in court on Wednesday, Williams asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to produce him for arraignment on the new date of sitting.
The judge said: “I believe it is the job of the prosecution to bring the defendant to court.
“The judge is just to make an order that he should appear in court but we cannot enforce the order. The responsibility still lies on the EFCC to make sure he is in court.”
NAN also reports that Innoson had previously failed to appear before Justice Dada five times and had been declared wanted by the judge following a request by the EFCC.
Earlier during proceedings, Anselem Ozioko, the lead EFCC counsel, had informed the court that Innoson and his legal representatives were absent in court.
Ozioko said: “My Lord, it appears that the second defendant and my learned colleagues from the other side are not in court.
“He has refused to come for his arraignment for the sixth time even when the matter was before your learned brother, Justice Dada, despite all efforts to bring him here.
“He has also filed seven different applications in between the period he was supposed to be arraigned.”
The prosecutor said that the applications filed by Innoson to allegedly stall his arraignment are an application challenging the jurisdiction of court, an application to disqualify himself from the charge before the court.
Others are an order of stay of execution on bench warrant issued by the court and a stay of execution of warrant of arrest.
Ozioko also informed the court that Innoson had refused to honor the court’s order by his continuous absence in court after he was granted an administrative bail by the EFCC.
He said: “My Lord, in view of the absence of the defendant, we shall be asking for an adjournment date.”
Williams, however, adjourned the case until Oct. 10 for arraignment.
Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd., were to be arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretences, stealing and forgery in a transaction with Guaranty Trust Bank.
According to the charge, 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 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 authorized 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.

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BUSINESS

CBN, NDIC inject 786bn into Polaris Bank (defunct Skye Bank)

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The Central Bank of Nigeria in conjunction with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has injected N786bn into the Polaris Bank, (The defunct Skye Bank).

Recall that following the withdrawal of the operating licence of Skye Bank Plc, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), established Polaris Bank, a bridge bank to assume the  ownership of the assets, all deposit liabilities and some other liabilities of Skye Bank.

Godwin Emefiele, (middle), announcing the death of Skye Bank and birth of Polaris Bank in Lagos on Friday

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this on Friday, said the strategy was for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to capitalise the bridge bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON.

“By this decision, the licence of the defunct Skye Bank is hereby revoked.

We wish to assure all depositors that under this arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services shall continue in the new bank on Monday, 24th September, 2018, to enable customers to transact their businesses seamlessly.

“Thus, all customers of Skye Bank shall be automatic customers of the new bank and their accounts and records duly purchased by Polaris Bank,” Emefiele explained.

The CBN chief further noted that the existing Board, Management and Staff of the defunct Skye Bank has been retained for its good performance whilst the CBN also assures depositors and customers of the safety of their funds.

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Polaris Bank takes over Skye Bank, CBN assures depositors

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Following the withdrawal of the operating licence of Skye Bank Plc, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in consultation with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), has established a bridge bank known as Polaris Bank, to assume the assets and liabilities of the defunct bank.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this on Friday, said the strategy was for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to capitalise the bridge bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON.

“By this decision, the licence of the defunct Skye Bank is hereby revoked.

We wish to assure all depositors that under this arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services shall continue in the new bank on Monday, 24th September, 2018, to enable customers to transact their businesses seamlessly.

“Thus, all customers of Skye Bank shall be automatic customers of the new bank and their accounts and records duly purchased by Polaris Bank,” Emefiele explained.

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Nigeria’s foreign debt hits $22bn

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The country’s foreign and domestic debts stood at $22.08bn and N15.63tn, respectively at the end of the second quarter of this year, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Figures from the NBS obtained by our correspondent on Thursday revealed that Lagos State had the largest share of the foreign and local debts among the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NBS stated, “The Nigerian states and federal debt stock data as of 30th of June, 2018 reflected that the country’s foreign and domestic debts stood at $22.08bn and N15.63tn, respectively. Further disaggregation of Nigeria’s foreign debt showed that $10.88bn of the debt was multilateral; $274.98m was bilateral (AFD) and another $2.12bn bilateral from the Exim Bank of China, JICA, India and KFW, while $8.80bn was commercial.

“Lagos State has the highest foreign debt profile among the 36 states and the FCT, accounting for 34.17 per cent, while Edo (6.57 per cent), Kaduna (5.48 per cent), Cross River (4.56 per cent) and Bauchi (3.18 per cent), followed closely.

“Similarly, the total domestic debt was N3.48tn, with Lagos State accounting for 14.88 per cent of the total domestic debt stock, while Anambra State has the least debt in this category with a contribution of 0.08 per cent to the total domestic debt stock.”

On the domestic debt stock of the states and the FCT, the NBS data revealed that Lagos owed N517.367bn; Delta, N222.680bn; Akwa Ibom, N179.714bn; while Kaduna had N75.606bn.

The statistics also revealed that Abia owed N57.467bn; Adamawa, N67.460bn; Anambra, N2.612bn; Bauchi, N78.076bn; and Bayelsa, N123.031bn.

The NBS statistics further revealed that the Federal Government’s domestic debt stock totalled N12.151tn during the period under review.

A breakdown of the figure showed that FGN Bonds amounted to N8.927tn or 73.47 per cent; Nigerian Treasury Bills totalled N2.953tn or 24.31 per cent; Nigerian Treasury Bonds, N150.988bn or 1.24 per cent; while the FGN Savings Bond was N8.521bn or 0.07 per cent.

Others are FGN Sukuk of N100bn or 0.82 per cent and FGN Green Bond of N10.690bn or 0.09 per cent.

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