EFCC says Innoson chairman hired thugs to attack them
The anti-graft agency said the industrialist had failed to honour an invitation by its investigation unit.
Operatives of the EFCC arrested the founder of the auto manufacturing company at his Enugu home on Tuesday for reportedly jumping bail.
In response to the criticism that has trailed his arrest, spokesperson of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, released a statement where he revealed that the industrialist had failed to honour an invitation by the anti-graft gency.
He said, "A well known industrialist, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, popularly known by his company's name, INNOSON, has been arrested by the EFCC.
"He was picked up at about 11am at his Savage Crescent, GRA Enugu residence on Tuesday, December 19, 2017.
"His arrest followed his refusal to honour invitation by the commission having earlier jumped an administrative bail granted him in a case being investigated by the Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Unit of the commission's Lagos office.
"Chukwuma, rather than honour the invitation by the EFCC, mobilised six truckloads of thugs pretending to be staff of his company to his residence, where they manhandled EFCC operatives.
"It took reinforcement from the Enugu office of the EFCC to arrest the industrialist who is currently being grilled by a team of investigators."
Innoson challenges arrest
Earlier, Innoson spokesperson, Cornel Osigwe, said Chukwuma was arrested for reportedly jumping bail in connection to a case he has with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).
Osigwe protested that the anti-graft agency had failed to send an initial invitation to warrant the indiscriminate arrest, accusing GTB of using undue influence to intimidate the company.
He said, "He was never invited by the EFCC, we challenge them to come forward with any evidence showing that he jumped bail.
"This is GTBank using federal authorities to persecute an illustrious citizen who has done a lot to improve the economic development of this country."
Innoson vs GTB
GTB has racked up a N8.5 billion debt to Innoson Group after the company won in a series of court judgements after it accused the financial institution of illegal service deductions in its accounts.
In its defence, the bank claimed that Chukwuma manipulated bank and shipping documents to obtain tax waivers from the Nigerian government.
While an initial fraud case brought against him was withdrawn earlier this year, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, revived the case at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
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