19th May, 2016
A federal high court sitting in Lagos, southwest Nigeria has authorized the Attorney General of Federation to commence the prosecution of a Lagos business man Innocent Chukwuma, his company Innoson Nigeria Limited and four others for alleged forgery offences.
The ruling by the presiding judge, Saliu Saidu was based on an application filed before the court by Federal Ministry of Justice that the Attorney General of the Federation has taken over the prosecution of the accused persons which the prosecutor from the office of the Inspector General of Police objected.
However after listening to the submission of the counsel of the two parties, the court decided the Attorney General of the Federation should go ahead with the prosecution of the accused persons
Consequently the Attorney General filed a four-count amended criminal charge against the accused persons.
The other accused persons to be arraigned alongside the Chukwuma are Charles Chukwu, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines, and Annajekwu Sunny.
In the four-count amended criminal charge number FHC /L/565/C/2015 filed before the court by Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice Mohammed Saidu Diri, it was alleged that, Innoson Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma, Charles Chukwu, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Annajekwu Sunny between January, 2010 and April 2011 at Apapa Wharf criminally conspired amongst themselves to wit, falsification of shipping documents which they deposited with Mitsui Osk Lines Lagos which was used as collateral for the purpose of clearance of raw materials polyinlchloride (PVC) for the production of roof ceiling and other imported items.
Mr Diri alleged further that all the accused persons same time and place did without lawful authority and with intent to defraud, utter the shipping clearance documents to the shipping Line Mitsui Osk Lines which was used as collateral for the purpose of obtaining a loan of N2.4 billion from Guaranty Trust bank Plc for the purpose of clearing raw materials Polyvinylchloride for the production of roof ceiling and other imported items
The accused persons were also alleged to have falsely and fraudulently represented as genuine, the uttered shipping documents and presented same to Guaranty Trust bank Plc to obtain a loan of N2.4 billion.
All the offences alleged to have been committed by the accused persons are contrary to and punishable under sections 3(6),1(2)(C) of the miscellaneous offences Act Cap. M 17 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
Justice Saidu has adjourned till 31st of May, 2016 when all the accused persons will be arraigned.