Justice Olusola Williams of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce the Chairman of Innoson Motors Limited in court for arraignment.
What instigated the declaration was alleged continuous absence of Chief Innoson in court to face forgery charges preferred against him by EFCC. The failure of the Crimes Commission to produce maestro industrialist prompted the Court to declare him wanted.
"I believe it is the job of the prosecution to bring the defendant to court. The judge is just to make an order that he should appear in court, but we cannot enforce the order. The responsibility of enforcing the order still lies on EFCC to make sure he is in court," Justice Williams explained.
It is alleged that  Chief Innoson had failed on six occasions to appear before Justice Mojisola Dada who was handling the case. Justice Dada, following a February 12, 2018 petition against her by the counsel to Chief Innoson, Mr. George Uwechue, SAN, withdrew from the trial, as recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC). Justice Williams was subsequently reassigned to handle the case.
"I have no personal interest in this case. In fact, I will be relieved if this case is taken (away) from as it will be a reduction of my workload," Justice Dada declared when she issued a bench warrant on February 9, 2018 Innoson's arrest for failure to appear in court on January 17 and February 9, 2018 to take his plea for alleged fraud.
Chief Innocent Chukwuma and his Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd have been arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, obtaining property by false pretenses, stealing and forgery.
The charge sheet stated that the defendants committed the offences between 2009 and July, 2011 in Lagos.
EFCC, the prosecution, alleged that the defendants, with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain by false pretenses containers of motorcycle, spare parts materials, property of a bank from Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Apapa Lagos.
The allegation was that the defendants had fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them via their clearing agents, the goods which were imported in the name of GTB from China by pretending falsely that the Bank authorized them to clear the goods.
In order to facilitate the fraud, EFCC claimed, the defendants forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mitsui OSK Line by knowingly putting a false stamp and signature of the Bank staff.