Recently, the Innoson/GTBank story has gained so much media prominence, especially following the arrest of the Innonson chairman a few days ago by EFCC.
Though the case is pending in court, Innoson has taken the battle to social media. There have been numerous sponsored social media campaigns against the bank such as #BewareOfGTBank and #WhatIsWrongWithGTBank. The company has also gone Television, with its owner, Dr Innocent Chukwuma granting an interview to TVC, where he claimed he had obtained a judgement of N8bn against the bank. He added that the bank pleaded with him over their inability to pay, and that he graciously offered to accept shares of the bank as payment.
GTBank on their part has chosen to remain silent on the matter, perhaps trusting in the integrity of the legal system as against playing to the gallery. Many attempts by us to get the bank’s representatives to comment on the story has proven abortive. A staff of the bank who spoke under anonymity, stated “Irrespective of the issues we are facing with the company, Innoson remains a customer of the bank and we owe him a duty of confidentiality and to conduct ourselves in a responsible manner towards him”. This statement didn’t stop us from conducting our own investigations on the matter, and below are our findings, put in bullet points for your optimum understanding.
Innoson is, and still remains, a customer of GTBank.
GTBank not behind Innocent Chukwuma’s arrest as EFCC states N1.4bn fraud and usage of forged documents to secure tax waivers as reason for arrest
What we discovered:
What we learnt:
What we heard from the Police:
What Innoson did:
What EFCC is Saying
In a statement issued by the Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Wilson Uwujaren, he said, “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has released Nnewi, Anambra-State born Industrialist, Chief Innocent Chukwuma on bail.
“The business man who runs a local auto assembly plant was arrested on Tuesday December 19, 2017 at his Enugu residence, following his refusal to respond to invitations by the Commission, after initially being granted administrative bail by the Commission, while his surety could also not be found.
“Unfortunately the industrialist resisted arrest and stirred controversy by bringing six truck-loads of thugs to block the entrance to his Plot W1, Industrial Layout, Abakaliki Road, Emeni, Enugu, home.
“This was after he initially misled the Police Command by informing them that his home had been invaded by armed robbers and kidnappers despite the fact that operatives of the Commission duly identified themselves to policemen guarding his home.
“His unruly thugs encircled and manhandled operatives of the Commission who had gone to effect the arrest. Consequently, a distress call was sent to the Commission’s Enugu Office for reinforcement.
“In all of this, the Commission’s operatives acted with decorum and civility. No one was manhandled or assaulted by the EFCC team, and not a single shot was fired, despite the provocation.
“Chief Chukwuma and his brother, Charles Chukwuma (who is still at large), are being investigated by the Insurance and Capital Market Fraud Section of the Commission’s office in Lagos over matters bordering on N1, 478, 366, 859.66 fraud and forgery.
‘The industrialist, among other infractions, allegedly used forged documents to secure tax waivers.”
What GTBank is not saying:
1. In responding to Innoson’s motion for a stay of criminal proceedings at the Court of Appeal, the Honourable Justice J.S Ikyegh on September 17,2017 dismissed the motion for being unmeritorious and ordered that proceeding in the criminal case against Innson should proceed.
2. On October 12, 2017, the Police through its Charge No. FHC/L/565C/2015- filed an application for the issuance of bench warrant against Innocent Chukwuma; Charles Chukwuma and Annajekwu Sunny for fraudulent clearance of goods, forgery, conversion, stealing and conspiracy presently pending before Faji J, at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi and adjourned to Decemeber 8, 2017 for arraignment/or hearing of motion.