Mr Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attoney-General of the Federation, on Thursday denied knowledge of the circumstances that led to Wednesday’s arrest and detention of vehicle manufacturer, Chief Innocent Chukwuma.
The industrialist was allegedly whisked off from his Enugu residenceby the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and detained on alleged directive from Malami’s office.
However, the minister while responding to the saga during a news briefing at State House, denied knowledge of what led to the incident as he had yet to be briefed by the operatives.
Malami noted that he was aware of the case involving the indigenous vehicle manufacturer and the GT Bank, which he added was being prosecuted in a court.
“In all sincerity, I was not privy to the fact that led to the stated arrest.
“I have not been formally briefed by the relevant agencies.
“But one thing I know about Innosson, I know of the fact that there has a pending case between him and GT Bank, which is pending in a court and is being prosecuted accordingly.
“Other than that I am not privy to the fact and circumstances that led to his alleged arrest yesterday (Wednesday).
“So, until I am briefed by the relevant agencies, I am not in a clear position to make any disclosure relating (to) that; thank you’’
The arrest of Chukwuma had stirred controversy in the country, leading to criticisms by other industrialists, the Senate as well as members of the public on the motives behind it.
Although the industrialist was said to have been released on bail by EFCC, he was said to have demanded from the organization to explain to him why its men came to pick him up from his house like a criminal.
It was alleged that Chukwuma and GT Bank had issues with bank deductions on the loan that he took from it to transact his business.
Sources said that when the matter went to the court, the matter was awarded in Chukwuma’s favour at the lower and appellate courts which the bank was not happy about, leading to alleged fraud petition by it against Chukwuma.
Malami was allegedly involved in the matter when he revived the fraud case earlier withdrawn, without notifying the business mogul.
Consequent upon this, EFCC went to effect Chukwuma’s arrest.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Chukwuma is the Chief Executive Officer of Innosson Group of Companies, manufacturers of brands of cars, SUVs and luxury buses widely used by chief executives and commercial operators.