Chairman, Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma has described the bench warrant issued against him as an abuse of judicial process.
He also noted that a notice of trial was not served on him as required by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, and as such, it was wrong for any court to issue a bench warrant against him.
Chukwuma, in statement signed by head of Corporate Communications, Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, said his team of lawyers have filed a notice of appeal and stay of execution against the warrant.
“Meanwhile, I have appealed against the Order of Bench Warrant to the Court of Appeal and have as well filled a Motion for Stay of Execution of the Order,” he stated.
According to the statement, issuance of bench warrant against Chukwuma is an abuse of process taken too far by the Court and made without jurisdiction.
“The order itself is a nullity and does not have grounds on law.
“ Firstly, there is no prima facie case against me. The charge was based on suspected or trumped up action of Innoson Nigeria Ltd and Innoson Nigeria Ltd was a party originally to the charge but was discharged by the Court of Appeal.
“ Secondly, there was no notice of trial served on me pursuant to the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. The act provides that before the court should issue a bench warrant, there must be proof of service of the charge and the notice of trial on the person involved. But there is no notice of trial served on me and the question of whether I, Innocent Chukwuma has been served with the charge is still pending at the Supreme Court. More importantly, the charge is also an abuse because of earlier similar suit in relation to the charge pending at different Federal High Courts, “he said.
Chukwuma added that the charge had been withdrawn through a notice of withdrawal filed in February 2016.
“Thirdly, The said CHARGE NO: FHC/L/565/2015 which is a trumped up was filed by the police in 2015 and was equally withdrawn by the same police through its notice of withdrawal dated 17th February, 2016 duly filed at the Federal High Court Registry Lagos.
“GTB characteristically got the then Director of Public Prosecution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (names withheld) to claim to have taken over the charge/case using the name of the Attorney General of the Federation. This was after the Police had withdrawn the case,” he stated.
“I therefore advice the bank for the benefit of its shareholders to quickly comply with the Supreme Court judgment and pay the over N9billion judgment debt. Failure to do so within the short period of grace that Innoson Nigeria Ltd granted to the bank will lead to the final execution of the Writ of Fifa against Guaranty Trust Bank.”
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