Mr Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, on Thursday, denied knowledge of the circumstances that led to Tuesday’s arrest and detention of vehicle manufacturer, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, a.k.a Innoson.
The industrialist was whisked off his Enugu residence by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and detained on an alleged directive from Malami’s office.
However, the minister while responding to the controversy during a news briefing at State House, denied knowledge of what led to the incident. He said he has not been briefed by the EFCC.
Malami said that he was aware of the court case involving the indigenous vehicle manufacturer and the GT Bank.
“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 Innoson, I know of the fact that there is 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 an explanation from the organisation on 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.
According to a narrative by Chukwuma, when the matter went to the court, it was settled his favour at the lower and appellate courts. He claimed GTBank was not happy about the decision and accused him of fraud. The EFCC acted on the petition.
Malami was allegedly involved in the matter when he revived the fraud case earlier withdrawn, without notifying the business mogul.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.
Chukwuma is the Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Group of Companies, manufacturers of cars, SUVs and luxury buses, branded in the company’s name and widely used by chief executives and commercial operators.