© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Innoson writes Buhari, wants AGF to take over case against GTB, EFCC
Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman of Innoson Motors, has written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, pleading with him to direct the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), to take over the case between him, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB).
The EFCC had arraigned Chukwuma in court for allegedly obtaining loans running into billions of naira from GTB using forged documents.
However, Chukwuma denies the charges, saying that it was GTB that was indebted to him to the sum of N55 billion.
In the letter to Buhari, Chukwuma said his company, Innoson Motors, had a good relationship with GTB prior to their face-off. Though he did not state the nature of the face-off or what led to it, he said that he sued the bank before the Federal High Court, Ibadan, and on February 6, 2014, a monetary judgement of over N2 billion was delivered in his favour.
Later in December pf the same year, Chukwuma said he obtained another judgement of N5.9 billion against GTB, from the Court of Appeal, Enugu division, “with 22% interest till the liquidation of the judgment debt”.
“As at today, GTB owes me over N22 Billion. Subsequent to the two said judgments of the Court of Appeal, the GTB had tried in futility to negotiate the judgment sums ridiculously downwards,” the letter read in part.
“GTB had earlier in one of its affidavits at the Court of Appeal Enugu Division deposed to the fact that if it pays the judgment debts, it will face serious liquidity deficiency which will adversely affect its banking operations.
“Consequent upon the failure of GTB to achieve a comfortable and downward negotiated figure with my company in respect of the two judgment debts, it colluded with some corrupt men and officers of the Nigerian Police Force, to contrive a false criminal charge of forgery against me and my company.
“Also in a bid to arm-twist, blackmail and compel me to forego and drop the two judgments and another fresh claim of thirty billion Naira against it, GTB corruptly and in a sudden twist, colluded with The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission- EFCC and concocted a false complaint of forgery of about two bills of lading against me.”
Chukwuma pointed out that during the court cases at the high court and the appeal court, “GTB did not at any time raise the issue of forgery as a defence”.
He also stated that after receiving the petition against him, the EFCC carried out its investigation and could not indict him or establish any case of fraud or forgery or any other offence against him.
“Mr President, I do not know why EFCC allowed itself to be used by GTBank to abuse court process in a matter it had earlier investigated without mentioning of fraud or forgery in its various reports … and for which it has deposed in a counter affidavit … that it cannot confirm GTB’s allegation against me,” Chukwuma stated.
“EFCC as a Federal Government Agency is supposed to be unbiased in resolving the dispute between Innoson and GTB, but its actions indicated it is doing the bidding of GTB.”
Chukwuma said GTB intends to frustrate his business and scare away his foreign partners or, worse still, have him killed.
“In the circumstance, I humbly request that Mr. President directs that the Honourable Attorney-General take over the case and continue or discontinue it based on its merit.
“I shall appear in any court or any investigative panel to answer any questions or charges relating to the allegation particularly in a court in which there is due process, compliance with rule of law, fair hearing and the charge did not constitute an abuse of process,” he stated.