The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was on Wednesday (today) ordered to produce the Chairman of Innosson Motors Limited, Innocent Chukwuma for arraignment.
The order was issued by a Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting at Ikeja, presided over by Justice Olusola Williams.
The judge arrived at the decision consequent upon the absence of the business mogul, who had earlier been slated for arraignment over allegation of forgery made against him by the anti-graft agency.
According to Justice Williams, “I believe it is the job of the prosecution to bring the defendant to court because they are the Executives.
“The judge is just to make an order that he should appear in court but we cannot enforce the order, the responsibility still lies on the EFCC to make sure he is in court.”
It would be recalled that Chukwuma had failed to appear before Justice Mojisola Dada of the same court.
This would be the sixth time the defendant refused to appear before the court.
His failure to appear before the court had equally prompted Justice Dada to declared the transport mogul wanted on the request of the EFCC.
But on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, NJC, Justice Dada had to recuse herself after responding to the petition filed by Chukwuma against her on February 12, 2018.
The criminal matter was then re-assugned to Justice Williams for arraignment.
During proceedings on the matter today, lawyer to the EFCC, A.B.C Ozioko told Justice Williams that, “My lord, it appears that the second defendant and my learned colleagues from the other side are not in court.
“He has refused to come for his arraignment for the sixth time even when the matter was before your learned brother, Justice Dada despite all efforts to bring him here.
“He has also filed seven different applications in-between the period he was supposed to be arraigned.
“My lord, in view of the absence of the defendant, we shall be asking for an adjournment date.”
Before adjourning the matter until October 10, 2018, Justice Williams held that the Commission should do everything within its powers to ensure the production of Chukwuma in court.
Justice Williams said, “It is the prosecution’s duty to make sure the defendant is in court to answer his case.
“I can’t be issuing an order to a defendant that seems not to be existing.
“I will give you a date and anytime you are able to arrest the defendant, just inform the court registrars and bring him to court for arraignment.”
Specifically, Chukwuma alongside his firm, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited were to be docked on a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretences, obtaining property by false pretences, stealing and forgery in a transaction with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).
The said offence was alleged to have been committed between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.
It was the contention of the anti-graft agency that the defendants with intent to defraud; conspired to obtain by false pretences containers of motorcycle, spare parts and raw materials, being property of GTBank from Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Apapa, Lagos.
The defendants were further 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 GTBank 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.
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.
FRSC Job Seeker Collapses, Dies In Kogi
The ongoing nationwide recruitment exercise being conducted by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) was disrupted for hours in Lokoja on Tuesday when one of the applicants collapsed suddenly and died.
The Kogi State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr Olisegun Martins, who confirmed the incident said that the applicant, a male collapsed shortly after successfully completing a two-kilometre race.
Martins said that the applicant, who could not disclose his name even dropped his tally before he suddenly fainted and collapsed.
According to the commander, a team of medical officials of the FRSC joined by their Nigerian Army counterparts quickly attended to the applicant and administered first aid on him.
He was later taken into the army clinic in the Chari Megumeiri Barracks where the recruitment was taking place for treatment.
Martins said, however, that the applicant died barely 30 minutes after he was admitted into the clinic.
He said that the incident would not result in the suspension of the recruitment in Kogi, expressing his condolences to the family of the deceased.
On Sept. 25, the FRSC commenced the recruitment of 4,000 people out of some 324,000 shortlisted applicants.
Best FIFA Player Award: How Luka Modric Ended Messi-Ronaldo 10 Years Duopoly
Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric, on Monday beat Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo, to win the 2018 Best FIFA player award.
In doing so, the Croatian midfielder broke the 10-year duopoly of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, at the ceremony which held at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Monday.
Messi and Ronaldo have shared the prize five times each over the past decade.
Official numbers released by FIFA, shows Modric garnered 29.05% of the total votes.
Ronaldo finished second with 19.08%, while Salah ended in third place with 11.23%.
Messi could only finish fifth with 9.81% behind Kylian Mbappe (10.52%).
New Minimum Wage: Nationwide Strike Begins September 26 —– NLC
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said its members will commence nationwide strike alongside civil society organisations on September 26 unless the tripartite committee completes its assignment on the new minimum wage.
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, made the declaration on Wednesday after a National Executive Council meeting.
Wabba lamented that the federal government had failed to show seriousness in implementing the new wage.
“NEC noted that this is against the principle of collective bargaining as provided in ILO conventions 98 and 131on minimum wage setting process, which Nigeria had domesticated”, he said in a statement.
“NEC has resolved that at the expiration of the 14 days industrial action notice issued to the federal government over the new minimum wage issue, and the demand of the organised labour was not met, NEC has given NAC and the leadership of organised labour the power to declare appropriate industrial action or any action it deems necessary.
“NEC in session accordingly approved and applauded the organised labour for taking a proactive step by issuing a statutory 14 days industrial action notice to preserve the sanctity of the collective bargaining process, and the demand for the tripartite committee to reconvene within a set period to finalise its report in line with the principle of collective bargaining.
“NEC resolves that all its affiliates unions and the 36 state councils of Congress and the FCT and joint action front communicate the decision of NEC to their members and all workers.”
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