Alleged Fraud: Innocent Chukwuma, Must Be Arrested, Kept In Custody – Court Orders - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Friday, 9 February 2018

Alleged Fraud: Innocent Chukwuma, Must Be Arrested, Kept In Custody – Court Orders

Alleged Fraud:  Innocent Chukwuma, Must Be Arrested, Kept In Custody – Court Orders

Innocent Chukwuma, CEO, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited

Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered a bench warrant against Chairman Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma, for failing to appear in court.

Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors, are facing trial for forgery in a matter relating to a business transaction with Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB.

He was scheduled to be arraigned first on January 17, 2018 but his failure to appear before the court prompted the adjournment till Friday 10th of February but the businessman also did not appear before the court.

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A mild drama however ensued in court as Counsel to Chukwuma, Professor J.N Mbadugba, escaped being slammed with contempt of court over his rude legal approach.

Professor Mbadugba engaged the court in a face-off rather than giving cogent reasons for his client’s non-appearance in Court.

Mbadugba angrily addressed the Court that there are pending applications before her and the Court of Appeal, which had to be entertained before further proceedings at the Court.

The Judge, however, insisted that he could only address her after his clients are in the dock.

In anger, the Defence Counsel started arguing on point of law demanding that the Judge disqualify herself from the trial.

He further charged at the judge that she was overriding the Supreme Court decision

The Judge attempted to calm him down, tactfully reminding him to respect and address the Court.

“Do you want to go into contempt custody? You can go to prison from here. You think the Court is a lawless place? You are rude!

Mbadugba, who later sensed that he had descended into a dangerous situation quickly retraced his steps and apologised for his outburst.

“I’m sorry my Lord. My lord should give me a second chance. I want my lord to tamper justice with mercy. I withdraw the statement. I apologise.”

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr. A.B.C Ozioko, in his address asked that a bench warrant be served on the defendants for non-appearance in Court. Faulting their disposition, Ozioko argued that the defendants appeared before the Senate Committee but failed to come to Court to answer for charges against them.

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Ozioko said: “We were here on the 17th of January, but was represented by a lawyer and you made an order to serve the lawyer. We have another person who is here on behalf of the first and second defendants. They were physically present at the National Assembly; they have respect for the legislative assembly but none for the Court. ”

He explained further that the defendants have criminal charges against them and they have to come to Court but he expressed surprise that his learned friend was in Court full of venom and disrespect for the Court.

“The first and second defendants are not here because he has advised them not to be here. He has told those who are not lawyers not to be here. But whatever the case, having been duly served, they have submitted to the court, their lawyer is here, the other lawyer was here to represent them.

Justice Dada issued a bench warrant against Mr. Chukwuma Innocent. She also ordered that he should be kept in custody a day before the next adjourn date, March 14, 2018.

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