The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has brought charges of alleged theft and fraud against automobile firm, Innoson, its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, and his brother, Charles.
The EFCC, which slammed four charges against the accused persons, state that they allegedly forged documents which they used to clear goods including motorcycle spare parts, shipped from overseas belonging to Guaranty Trust Bank.
According to the charge sheet filed before a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, the Innoson executives, by their actions committed advance fee fraud.
One of the charges read, “Innoson Nigeria Limited, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma and Charles Chukwuma between 2009 and July 2011, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, induced the (members of ) staff of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Limited, Apapa, Lagos and Maersk Line Limited to deliver to you through your clearing agents, containers or motorcycle spare parts moulds of plastic parts and steel structures and raw materials called polyvinchlorid, property of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc imported into Nigeria from China in the name of the said bank as the consignee by falsely pretending that you were authorised by GTB to clear the goods and took delivery of same.
“That in order to facilitate your obtaining goods by false pretences, forged bill of lading with number 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and No Molu 11007950841 of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Limited by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp signature of its (members of) staff on the bill of lading with intent that they might be used or acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of any person whether within Lagos State or elsewhere.”
The EFCC had last week arrested the Innoson boss in Enugu for alleged N1.4bn fraud.
According to the anti-graft agency, the brothers allegedly forged documents to secure tax waivers.
The EFCC had said in a statement, “The EFCC has released Chief Innocent Chukwuma, CEO of INNOSON on bail. Chukwuma and his brother, Charles (who is at large), are being investigated by the EFCC’s Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Section for N1,478,366,859.66 fraud. He allegedly forged documents to secure tax waivers.”
He was accused of ignoring several EFCC invitations and flouting the administrative bail conditions given to him.
Chukwuma’s arrest was widely condemned by the Igbo community and some members of the Senate.