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The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Mojisola Dada, the judge initially assigned to hear the case, had withdrawn following Innoson’s February 12 petition to the National Judicial Council.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.
CBN injects another $210m into Forex Market
In its latest round of intervention, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, injected the sum of $210 million in the inter-bank foreign exchange market.
Figures obtained from the CBN indicate that the authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market received the sum of $100 million while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles segments were allotted the sum of $55 million each.
The Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor assured that the CBN would continue to sustain liquidity in the forex market. He also expressed optimism that the Naira will continue its strong run against the dollar and other major currencies around the world, considering the stability in the market and robust reserves.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on Friday, November 2, 2018, made interventions to the tune of $337.16million in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) and CNY 56.17million in the spot and short-tenored forwards segment of the foreign exchange market.
Meanwhile, the Naira on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 exchange at an average of N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market.
Diamond Bank denies merger, acquisition talks with Access Bank
Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc have notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the general public that both banks are not in any merger or acquisition talks as being circulated in some media.
The banks, in separate statements to the exchange on Monday, denied the rumours that they were engaged in merger and acquisition talks.
Uzoma Uja, Diamond Bank’s Company Secretary, said it was not in discussion with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.
Uja said that the attention of Diamond Bank had been drawn to the rumour in the media stating that the bank was purportedly in discussion with Access Bank to acquire the bank.
He said: “We wish to state categorically that the bank is not in discussion with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.
“We trust that the above clarifies the position of the bank with regards to the rumour on the various media platforms.”
Also, Sunday Ekwuochi, Company Secretary, Access Bank, said the bank had not entered into any such discussion with Diamond Bank or any other institution.
Ekwuochi said: “As a publicly quoted company built on best practice, the bank is fully cognisant of its disclosure obligations in respect of any such corporate action and will always discharge its obligations in the most professional manner.
“Consequently, any statement regarding any such corporate action that is not issued by the bank should be disregarded.”
Teleology finally takes over 9mobile, names new board
Teleology Holdings Limited has finally taken over 9mobile.
This is coming 11 months after the company made it to the top five companies making a bid to take over the telecommunications company.
In a statement seen by TheCable, and signed by Mohammed Edewor, Teleology said it “is pleased to announce the constitution of a new Board of Directors for Nigeria’s multi-award-winning telecommunication company, 9mobile”.
This follows “the successful completion of the tenure of the former Board appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and in fulfillment of the consequential transfer of final ownership to the new investors, Teleology Nigeria Limited”.
“We thank all out-going members of the Board for helping to shepherd 9mobile through the critical transition phase it has passed through since July 2017 and wish them the very best in their future assignments.
“For us, the composition of the new Board of Directors is another significant milestone, and this follows the issuance of final approval of no objection by the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to the effect that the technical and financial bids Teleology submitted for 9mobile met and satisfied all the regulatory requirements.
“This is indeed the dawn of a new era in the evolution of the 9mobile brand in the Nigerian market”.
The new board of directors is constituted by:
- Nasiru Ado Bayero (Chairman)
- Asega Aliga (Non Executive Director)
- Adrian Wood (Non Executive Director)
- Mohammed Edewor (Non Executive Director)
- Winston Ndubueze Udeh (Non Executive Director)
- Abdulrahman Ado (Executive Director)
- Stephane Beuvelet (Acting Managing Director)
Nasiru Ado Bayero, the new chairman, appreciated the telco’s employees and subscribers, who is said should be prepared for best-in-class services forthwith.
“As we begin this new epochal phase, we wish to thank all the employees who built this viable business,” Ade Bayero said.
“Our debt of gratitude also goes to our subscribers even as we assure them to get ready for real best-in-class additional value for their relationship with the 9mobile brand.
“Without you, there could not have been a 9mobile business for us to invest in today. We will justify your confidence in our brand by making significant investments that will improve the value you get for using 9mobile.”
The sale process of 9mobile was initially billed to be concluded on January 16, 2018, following an approval of the extension of the deadline by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) after an initial December 2017 deadline.
Teleology eventually won the final bid, ahead of Airtel, Globacom, Smile, Helios.
The company, 9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria was taken over in July 2017 following a N541 billion debt overhang.
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