Prominent traditional rulers under the aegis of Anambra South Senatorial Traditional Rulers Forum have called on President Buhari to intervene in the rift between Guarantee Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) and the Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief (Dr.) Innocent Chukwuma.
Innoson and GTBank have been in court for a while following contractual agreement issues.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) got involved in the matter, accusing the automaker of forgery and fraud.
The Grand Patron of the forum, Igwe (Dr.) Kenneth Orizu III, in a statement signedon Tuesday, November 6, 2018, said Buhari’s intervention is urgently needed so the issue at hand will not escalate.
The traditional rulers, in the statement, condemned EFCC’s involvement in the persecution of the renowned industrialist.
Alleged invasion of Chukwuma’s home
Recalling the alleged invasion of Chukwuma’s home on December 19, 2017, by the EFCC, the monarchs wondered why the anti-graft agency will persecute such a distinguished Nigerian.
They also described as an insult, EFCC’s behaviour towards Chukwuma, who they say “did not only parade four national honours to his credit but also provides direct employment to over 7,000; and indirect jobs to about 15,000 Nigerians.”
An excerpt of the statement reads: "The Royal fathers of Anambra South Traditional Rulers Forum is calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to look critically into the roles and activities of the EFCC on the ongoing business dispute between the Guarantee Trust Bank PLC and Innoson Nigeria Ltd.
" It has become obvious that the EFCC is not following laid down procedures and judicial precedence in the prosecution of the alleged trumped up charge against our son, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Nigeria Ltd.
"As leaders and elders of the land, knowing fully well the consequences and crisis the roles and activities of the EFCC may cause, we have decided to use this medium call on you, Mr. President, to call EFCC to order on this matter so as not to allow this little crisis degenerate into a bigger crisis that will be difficult and costly to resolve."
ALSO READ: Full story of how Innoson and GTB fell out
Call Ibrahim Magu to order
The traditional rulers also called on the President to call EFCC’s boss, Ibrahim Magu to order.
They urged Magu to advise his officers to stop displaying elements of bias in the said dispute.
The group also asked the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris and the Lagos State Police Commissioner to investigate the alleged attack on Prof. McCarthy Mbadugha, Innoson's lawyer, by assassins.
According to Innoson's spokesman, Cornel Osigwe, Mbadugha, while in his office on Sunday, October 14, 2018, was attacked by armed men.