FACT AND FIGURES : The Untold Stories about Innoson CEO Arrest, Details Of Transaction With Gtbank
__Written by Adekunle Olusola
So much is being said of the arrest of Innoson Boss, Innocent Chukwuma, yet there has been very little or no solid information on the matter. As a result, a lot of what is being spread in the news and on social media, are more false than fiction. Here, for example, are 4 myths about the Innoson saga.
1. 700 Million Naira Excess Charges.
Many on social media and elsewhere have been quick to spread the story that GTB stole 700 million from Innoson. Research shows this to be wholly false. In fact, nowhere is the sum of 700 million Naira even mentioned in the Innoson case. What is actually the case is that after being found culpable of forgery and other fraudulent crimes by the police, Innoson approached the Bank and pleaded for debt forgiveness. The bank, out of goodwill, accepted his plea and agreed to forego the sum of N559,374,072.09 which represented default charges that has accrued on the account. Innoson also promised to pay back, within 30 days, the sum of N1,095,107,822.95 as full and final payment of his indebtedness to the Bank. Instead of honoring this agreement, Innoson filed a new case at the
Federal High Court, Awka claiming that the bank had debited his account with N559,374,072.09, the exact sum that the bag had forgiven him in default charges. He has continued ever since, to claim falsely that the bank owes him.
2. Tribe is Involved
Many are also spreading rumours that the case against Innoson is tribalistic. This is a dangerously false narrative. The case against Innoson has nothing to do with where he comes from; it is simply a case of a debtor, in this case, Innoson, trying to avoid repaying the money he borrowed and trying to evade the case of forgery against him. It’s begs common sense to assume that a bank, in this case GTB, which was not be accused of tribalism when it gave Innoson the loan, would now be accused of such now that it is trying to recover funds.
These funds, by the way, are owned by customers, many of who undoubtedly are of the same tribe as Innoson. If GTBank is tribal how come they and not Fidelity or Diamond Bank gave innoson money when he needed help. If they played the tribal card, they probably wont be facing all this mess.
3. The Saga is Political
Some have tried to link the Innoson Saga to politics, but the fact of the matter is that it is entirely about business and breach of trust. It is important to note that the case between GTB and Innoson began more than seven years ago, that is, before the ruling APC was even formed as a political party.
To give a little background on the matter, GTB loaned Innoson N2.4bn in 2009 to import spare parts for his company. Under the loan terms, GTBank was the exclusive owner of the Imported Goods. The condition in the agreement between the Bank and Innoson, for the release of the Imported Goods by the Bank to Innoson, was the payment of 25% of the value of each Letter of Credit transaction by Innoson. Later, Innoson approached the Bank requesting the release of the shipping documents without payment of the agreed 25%. The Bank declined his request as a result of Innoson’s failure to meet the agreed conditions.
Innoson then fraudulently cleared all the imported Goods by forging the signatures of 4 (four) staff of the Bank as well as the Bank’s stamp on all the shipping documents. The Bank reported the matter to the Nigeria Police, and the police confirmed that Innoson deliberately set out to defraud, steal from the Bank.
And this brings us to the fourth myth of the saga, which is that the case is a civil matter.
4. It is Civil Case
Another claim out there is that the Innoson case is a civil matter which neither the EFCC nor the Police should get involved. Again, this is false. The Innoson saga is a criminal matter because he has been found culpable by the police of deliberately setting out to defraud, steal from the Bank and convert the Imported Goods belonging to the Bank by deceptive means and through forgery and misrepresentation. On October 12, 2017, the Police through its Charge No. FHC/L/565C/2015- filed an application for the issuance of bench warrant against Innocent Chukwuma; Charles Chukwuma and Annajekwu Sunny for fraudulent clearance of goods, forgery, conversion, stealing and conspiracy presently pending before Faji J, at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi and adjourned to Decemeber 8, 2017 for arraignment/or hearing of motion.
To further stall the criminal proceedings against him and the Bank’s bid to recover its funds, Innoson has been trying to distract the Bank from focusing on the criminal action, as well as civil actions filed for
recovery of the debt. This includes propagating false and inciteful stories against the bank through frivolous and outrageous claims.