Innoson suspends plans to enforce rights against EFCC, GTBank


In what appears to be a dramatic u-turn, Innoson Nigeria Limited and its Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, on Friday withdrew a fundamental right enforcement suit filed against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and five other persons at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Innoson approached the court by a way of exparte motion.

He did not serve the parties he sued in court.

Specifically, he wanted the court to grant him some reliefs pending when those he sued would be heard in court.

Other defendants he sued were the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Inspector-General of Police (IG), and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).

The businessman had alleged that his fundamental rights had been infringed upon.

Chukwuma was arrested on Tuesday morning at his residence in Enugu by officers of the EFCC who remanded him at their field office in the city.

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He was later released on bail on Wednesday evening.

The EFCC said it arrested and detained the industrialist after attempts to summon him were rebuffed.

But the spokesperson to Innoson, Cornel Osigwe, debunked the claim by the EFCC, saying the businessman was never invited prior to his arrest and dared the anti-graft agency to present evidence of invitation to Nigerians.

Osigwe blamed the GTBank for orchestrating the arrest of his principal, a claim the bank denied.

Chukwuma and GTBank have been locked in a prolonged legal battle over claims by the industrialist that the bank made arbitrary deductions in his bank accounts.

The bank countered the allegations, saying it was Chukwuma who allegedly falsified bank and shipping documents.

Though the ex parte application was filed on Thursday, Justice Hadiza Shagari had adjourned till Friday to hear it.

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When the matter was, however, called Friday, counsel for GTBank, Adebowale Kamoru, showed up in court, saying his client knew about Innoson’s move to get injunction against them.

Kamoru, in an application he brought before Justice Shagari  prayed the court to decline entertaining Innoson’s ex parte application on the grounds that Chukwuma and his company had suppressed material facts.

Citing several judicial authorities, he prayed the court to grant leave for his client to be heard in the case.

In response, Innoson’s lawyer, Prof. MacCarty Mbaduagha, said he had been instructed by his client to withdraw the ex parte application.

Kamoru did not oppose him.

“Yesterday, the sixth respondent was represented in the ex-parte application. Counsel made submission and informed the court that the sixth defendant had indeed filed a counter to the ex-parte application.

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“We brought this to the notice of our client and he instructed us to withdraw it, and find out why due process was not followed in the circumstance.

“We duly and humbly apply to withdraw the suit.”

Consequently, Justice Shagari granted Mbaduagha’s prayer.

“In view of the application of the applicants’ counsel, the application is hereby granted,” the judge held.