The case between the Chairman of Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma, and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is not over yet. 

He has been declared wanted by a Lagos court.

Justice Mojisola Dada of the special offences court in Lagos, on Thursday May 24th, declared Mr Chukwuma wanted over his failure to make an appearance in court for his arraignment for the fifth time.

It was the request of the Mr Anselem Ozioko, the lead prosecuting counsel of the EFCC. 

Mr Chukwuma on January 17, February 9, March 14 and April 24 failed to make an appearance in court for his arraignment and this resulted in the issuance of a bench warrant. 

During the proceedings of March 14, it was revealed that Innoson had petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) over Justice Mojisola Dada, the judge trying the case. 

Ozioko in his submission seeking the declaration of Innoson wanted said: “This appears to be the fifth time this matter is coming up before your Lordship for arraignment. 

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“The learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria representing the second defendant (Innoson) is still insisting on taking his application without ensuring the defendant is physically present in court. 

“The question is, where is the second defendant? Is he too big for the court? Is he too big for the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Is he too big because he has money? Where is he"? 

After Ozioko made a request, Justice Dada said: “The second defendant is hereby declared wanted and the case adjourned until June 22 for possible arraignment".

Earlier, during the proceedings, Ozioko had informed the court that the anti-graft agency would also be taking some steps to ensure Innoson’s attendance in court on the next adjourned date. 

Counsel to Innoson, Mr George Uwechue, had asked the court to hear his application despite Justice Dada’s declaration that no application would be heard until Innoson was physically present in court.

Mr Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd., are to be arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretences, obtaining property by false pretences, stealing and forgery. 

According to the charge sheet, the defendants committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos. 

The EFCC alleged that the defendants with intent to defraud; conspired to obtain by false pretences containers of motorcycle, spare parts and raw materials, property of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) from Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Apapa, Lagos. 

They are alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them, via their clearing agents, the goods which were imported from China in the name of GTB by falsely pretending that they were authorised by the bank to clear the goods. 

The prosecution claimed that the defendants in order to facilitate the fraud forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mutsui O.S.K Lines by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank staff.

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The alleged forgery was in order that the forged documents be used or acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of any person within Lagos or elsewhere.

The offences contravened Sections 1(1)(b), 1(3), and 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2016 and Sections 309(9), 388, 465 and 467(1)(j) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State 2003. 

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