Home Nigeria Lawyers divided over Innoson, EFCC case

Lawyers divided over Innoson, EFCC case


The arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC of the industrialist, Chief Innocent Chukwuma has made lawyers divided along different lines of argument with some supporting, while others criticizing  the agency’s action.

Some lawyers who spoke with Vanguard, said the EFCC was right to have arrested the business mogul, but some said the act was based on ethnic hatred. Mr Gbenga Ojo, a university law lecturer said: “The issue is very difficult to comment on since both parties, that is, the EFCC and Innoson, are making different claims. However, my opinion is that the commission has the power to invite a suspect but arrest if the suspect did not turn up over suspicion of criminal allegation. In this case, the EFCC was claiming that Innoson boss committed a crime of forgery, which led to his invitation and subsequent arrest. If it is true, he was invited and didn’t turn up, he can be arrested.

“However, there must be a decorum in every action the EFCC must or should take, especially if the matter involved is pending before a court of law. So, the matter is neither here nor there.”

Another lawyer, Olaoye Dada, said:” What the EFCC did was wrong to have invaded the man’s house for committing no offence. This is purely a civil matter and a business transaction between a bank, GTB and the company. I am surprised that the commission has become the police or debt collector when the court bailiffs are there.

“It is abysmal and unbecoming of the agency to victimize people unduly on the order of some individuals or an influence from an opposition party. They have to be stopped.”

A Lagos lawyer, Mr Bright Chukwuma said: “This man Innoson has been doing well for industrial development of the country. If he got a loan for the development of his business, he must be encouraged. What EFCC is doing is suggestive that the institution is created to victimize people unduly. As far as this matter between Innoson and the principal party, GTB is concerned, it is a pure business and civil matter.

“It has to be resolved in the court of competent jurisdiction rather than the court of the EFCC, which has turned itself to a police and debt recovery agents against the provision that set it up.”




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