AN Ikeja Special Offences Court yesterday declared the Innoson Group of Companies Chairman, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, wanted.
The decision followed an oral application filed by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Mojisola Dada.
Justice Dada had earlier issued a Bench Warrant against the defendant for not appearing in court despite several invitations.
At resumed sitting of the court yesterday, Justice Dada declined to listen to any of the applications from the defence counsel.
She insisted Innoson must appear before her in court.
Addressing the court, EFCC lead counsel Anselem Ozioko informed the court that they were not able to execute the Court’s Bench Warrant.
Ozioko insisted that it was disrespectful for the defendant to fail to appear in court for the fifth time.
He added that the court and the law should not be disrespected by anybody; no matter how highly placed and standing in the society.
Innoson’s counsel Chief George Uwechue (SAN) said even when the court does not want to listen to the application of a defendant, it was duty bound to do so when it borders on challenging its jurisdiction to hear the matter under consideration and make a formal ruling on it.
The EFCC is accusing Innoson of obtaining containers of motorcycles spare parts by false pretences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos, ‘with intent to defraud.
The goods, said to be property of GT Bank Plc, were allegedly obtained from Mitsui O.S.K Lines Limited in Apapa.
The anti-graft agency claimed that Innocent Chukwuma and Charles Chukwuma, “with intent to defraud induced the staff of Mitsui O.S.K and Maersk Line Limited to deliver” to them through their clearing agents, the motorcycle spare parts, moulds of spare parts and steel structures and raw materials called polyvinlchlorid, imported from China.
The charge said the accused falsely pretended that they were authorised by GTB to clear the goods and take delivery of them.
Justice Dada has adjourned the matter till June 22.