Forgery: Innoson Boss’ Lawyer’s Absence  Stalls Hearing of Pending Applications

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Further hearing of applications in a criminal charge filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) against Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, the managing director of Innoson Company Limited and four others before a Federal High Court, Lagos, has been adjourned till January 29, 2019.
The adjournment was at the instance of Chukwuman’s lawyer, Mr. McCarthy Mbadugha, who wrote to court of his unavailability due to his medical treatment abroad.
AGF had filed a criminal charge of forgery before the court, against Mr. Innocent, his company, Innoson Nigeria Limited, and four others, who include: Charles Chukwu, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Annajekwu Sunny.

However, during the hearing of several applications filed by the defendants, the court had struck out the name of Chukwuma’s company, Innoson Nigeria Limited, from the charge.

The AGF in the charge marked FHC/L/565C/2015, had alleged that Chukwuma and other defendants, have between January, 2010 and April 2011, at Apapa Wharf, Lagos, conspired amongst themselves to wit, falsification of shipping documents which they deposited with Mitsui Osk Lines Lagos, which was used as collateral for the purpose of clearance of raw materials polyinlchloride (PVC), for the production of roof ceiling and other imported item

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In the four counts amended charge, filed before the court by Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice Mohammed Saidu Diri, it was alleged that, Innoson Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma, Charles Chukwu, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Annajekwu Sunny between January, 2010, and April 2011, at Apapa Wharf conspired amongst themselves to wit, falsification of shipping documents which they deposited with Mitsui Osk Lines Lagos, which was used as collateral for the purpose of clearance of raw materials polyinlchloride (PVC) for the production of roof ceiling and other imported items.

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The accused persons were also alleged to have without lawful authority and with intent to defraud, utter the shipping clearance documents to the shipping Line Mitsui Osk Lines which was used as collateral for the purpose of obtaining a loan of N2.4 billion from Guaranty Trust bank Plc for the purpose of clearing raw materials Polyvinylchloride (PVC) for the production of roof ceiling and other imported items

They were further alleged to have falsely and fraudulently represented as genuine, the uttered shipping documents and presented same to Guaranty Trust bank Plc to obtain a loan of N2.4 billion.

The alleged offences according to the prosecution are contrary to and punishable under sections 3(6),1(2)(C) of the miscellaneous offences Act Cap. M 17 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

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At the resumed hearing of the application today, Chief George Uwechue (SAN), counsel to Innoson Motors Limited, informed the court of letter for adjournment received from Chukwuma’s counsel, Mbadugha, on health ground.
However the prosecutor, Mr. Julius Ajakaiye, a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, informs the court that be was not serve with the letter but informed in court about the development by one of the clerk in Mbadugha’s Chambers.
Also, lawyer to other defendants also to the court that they were yet to receive the letter, but not opposing the adjournment.
Following the submissions of the prosecutor and other counsels, Justice Faji obliged the prosecutor and other lawyers copy of Mbadugha’s letter.
At the agreement of the parties, the matter was adjourned till January 29, for hearing of all pending applications in the criminal charge.

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