Detention: Innoson slams N200bn suit against EFCC

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), Chief Innocent Chukwuma, has filed a N200 billion lawsuit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the High Court of Enugu over what he described as “malicious falsehood, defamation and unlawful imprisonment.”
The lawsuit which was filed by counsel to Innocent Chukwuma, Prof Joseph Mbadugha of McCarthy Mbadugha & Co, is coming against the backdrop of his arrest and subsequent release by the anti-graft agency.
The EFCC had claimed in a statement on its official website that the arrest of Innocent Chukwuma “followed his refusal to invitation by the commission, having earlier jumped an administrative bail granted him in a case being investigated by the Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Unit of the Commission’s Lagos office.”
EFCC further stated that “the industrialist used forged documents to secure tax waivers”.
Rebutting the claim by the EFCC, Dr Chukwuma through his spokesperson, Cornel Osigwe, maintained that “at no time did Innocent Chukwuma (Innoson) receive an invitation or was invited by the EFCC or was there any time he jumped an administrative bail granted by the EFCC. Innoson is a public figure and a well-known industrialist of international repute. There is no how he would be invited by the EFCC and he would ignore or refuse to it.”
He further said the business mogul had never had any issue or query from the EFCC of recent, saying the last issue he hadd was an invitation extended to him in 2012 based on a complaint against him by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) which he honoured and subsequently EFCC filed a charge against him at the Lagos High Court, which was subsequently struck out.
The EFCC statement on the reason for Innoson’s “arrest and his unlawful detention caused untoward injury and damages to his person, personality, reputation and loss of business interest from his prospective business partners amounting to millions of dollars,” he said.
“On this premise, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and Innoson Nigeria Ltd are claiming against EFCC; N30 billion exemplary damages; N30 billion for assault and battery; N30 billion for false imprisonment; N40 billion for injury to feelings – mental pains and anxiety arising from malicious falsehood and or defamatory publications of the defendants against the plaintiffs; N50 billion for injury to plaintiff’s reputation arising from the said publications; and N20 billion for general damages.”
Besides, the businessman is asking for an order that the published words complained of be retracted by the defendants and such retraction be published in two national newspapers, including the Punch newspapers.
Also, he is asking for 22 per cent interest on the sums of money claimed in sub-paragraphs (a)-(f) commencing from December, 20 2017 till judgement is delivered and a post judgement interest of 22 per cent on the judgement sum till the final satisfaction of the judgement debt.
Furthermore, Innoson has set machinery in motion for a N50 billion suit against EFCC, GTB and three others for breach of his fundamental rights.

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