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Innocent Chukwuma Innoson accuses Judge of refusing to consider application challenging its jurisdiction

In February 2018, Justice Mojisola Dada issued a bench warrant for Chukwuma's arrest because he failed to appear in court twice.

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Innoson boss, Innocent Chukwuma challenges latest Appeal Court ruling play

Innoson group boss, Innocent Chukwuma

(File)

Innoson Motors boss, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma has accused Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos State High Court of refusing to consider an application challenging the court’s jurisdiction to arraign him.

In February 2018, Justice Mojisola Dada issued a bench warrant for Chukwuma's arrest because he failed to appear in court twice for arraignment on criminal charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Subsequently, Chukwuma’s legal team challenged the jurisdiction of the Lagos State High Court to hear the suit on the forgery charge levelled against him by the EFCC.

According to a statement by Innoson’s spokesman, Cornel Osigwe, “At the last court sitting on Wednesday, March 14th 2018, Innoson through his legal counsel led by Chief George Uwechue (SAN) challenged the jurisdiction of the Lagos State High Court to hear the suit on the forgery charge against Innoson filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“Justice Dada had in the last hearing said she would no longer entertain further proceedings in the suit involving Innoson until she knows the outcome of the petition against her before the National Judicial Council (NJC).

“It will be recalled that Innoson had on Feb 12th 2018, petitioned the National Judicial Council to investigate the circumstance leading to Honorable Mojisola Dada of Lagos State High Court issuing a bench warrant against him and ordering his arrest.”

Speaking on the application challenging the jurisdiction of the court, the lead prosecuting counsel to EFCC maintained that despite the petition, the Judge can still go on with the prosecution.

According to Osigwe, “Counsel to Chukwuma raised the issue of the Court’s lack of jurisdiction to entertain the case and that he was ready to move that application.  However, the trial Judge maintained that she will not entertain any application except Chief Innocent Chukwuma is at the dock.”

He also said “The incessant interruption of the court and its failure to allow Uwechue address the Court led him to remind the Court that he is a life Bencher, a former Chairman of Body of Benchers and has been in practice for over 50 years.

“Subsequently, the Court allowed him to address it on the point that the presence of Innoson’s boss is not necessary since he is challenging the Court’s jurisdiction. Chief Uwechue, SAN, cited the case of Igbeke v. FRN [2015] 3 NWLR (Pt. 1445) 28 at 49 paragraphs D – H.

ALSO READ: Full story of how Innoson and GTB fell out

“Trouble started when Uwechue, attempted to read out a portion of the decision of the Appellate Court from the case he cited and the prosecuting counsel took over the control of the court and refused to let him read out the decision.

“Ozioko posited that they are the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as such had taken control of the court and the proceedings. Chief Uwechue, SAN, urged and expected the court to call Ozioko Esq. to order but the Court did not do that but rather started stampeding him and encouraged Ozioko.”

Justice Mojisola Dada however adjourned till May 24th 2018 for possible arraignment of Innoson’s boss, Chukwuma.

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