GTBank has released detailed report of their transaction with Innoson
Motors CEO, Innocent Chukwuma that led to his EFCC arrest. Read below:
- 1. GTBank has stated they are not behind Innoson Motors CEO, Innocent Chukwuma’s arrest.
Rather, the EFCC has announced they arrested Innocent Chukwuma over
a N1.4bn fraud and usage of forged documents to secure tax waivers.
True story how Innoson vs GTBank war started: In 2009, GTBank granted
Innoson several credit facilities (i.e loans) totalling
N2,400,000,000,00 (two billion, four hundred million Naira only), to
part finance working capital requirements, import new motorcycles and
motorcycle spare parts, agricultural spare parts and plastic
manufacturing equipment (“Imported Goods”).
- 4. Under the loan
terms agreed by Chief Innocent Chukwuma on behalf of Innoson,
proprietary interest in the Imported Goods was consigned exclusively in
favour of the Bank. This means that the Bank was the exclusive owner of
the Imported Goods. Accordingly, the original shipping documents (i.e.
the Bills of Lading) were in the custody of the Bank, and have remained
in the custody of the Bank at all times.
- 5. Because GTBank was
the exclusive owner of the imported goods, ownership of the goods could
only be transferred to Innoson (or any other third party) by the Bank.
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.
Innocent Chukwuma approached the Bank, on behalf of Innoson, requesting
the release of the shipping documents without payment of the agreed+
25% equity. The Bank declined his request as a result of Innoson’s
failure to meet the agreed conditions.
- 7. It came to the Bank’s
knowledge sometime in June, 2011 that the Imported Goods for which the
Bank declined to release shipping documents to Innoson in view of its
failure to meet the agreed conditions, had been fraudulently procured by
- 8. The Bank discovered that Innoson, under the control
of Dr. Innocent Chukwuma had forged the Bank’s endorsement on the bills
of lading to the Shipping Line and fraudulently cleared the Imported
Goods which were in the name of the Bank.
- 9. The Imported Goods,
being property of the Bank should not have been cleared from the Port
without the original shipping documents being endorsed by the Bank in
favour of Innoson, or any third party.
- 10. The signatures of 4
(four) staff of the Bank, to wit, Taofeek Olalere, Dan Attah, Bunmi
Adeyemi and Amazu Amalachukwu, as well as the Bank’s stamp were forged
on all the shipping documents used by Innoson to fraudulently clear
goods at the port.
- 11. The Bank did not at any time endorse or
transfer the shipping documents to Innoson, as the originals of each of
the relevant Bill of Lading remain in the Bank’s custody to this very
- 12. When the Bank reported the matter to the Nigeria
Police, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma claimed the Bank released the shipping
documents to him.
- 13. Consequently, the Police commenced
investigation into the Bank’s complaint, including a forensic
examination of the disputed signatures, and established that the
signatures of the Bank’s staff were forged, and the Imported Goods were
fraudulently cleared from the Nigerian Ports Authority by Dr. Innocent
Chukwuma and his accomplices.
- 14. Police investigations
confirmed that Innoson and Dr. Innocent Chukwuma deliberately set out to
defraud, steal from the Bank and convert the Imported Goods belonging
to the Bank by deceptive means and through forgery and
- 15. The unlawful takeover of the Imported
Goods, which served as the Bank’s collateral, left an indebtedness in
excess of the sum of N1,654,481,895.04 (one billion, six hundred and
fifty four million, four hundred and eighty one thousand, eight hundred
and ninety five Naira, four Kobo) as at September 26, 2012.
Chief Innocent Chukwuma was arrested and interrogated by operatives of
the EFCC, following which he agreed to make monthly payments into
Innoson’s account until the full liquidation of Innoson’s indebtedness
to the Bank.
- 17. However, Innoson defaulted in making the agreed payments.
Investigations by the Nigeria Police following a petition by the Bank
in September 2013 also found Innoson and Chief Innocent Chukwuma
culpable of the criminal allegations levied against them by the Bank,
and Chief Innocent Chukwuma was accordingly charged to court by the
- 19. The Police filed Charge No.
FHC/L/565C/2015-Inspector General Of Police And Innoson Nigeria Limited;
Innocent Chukwuma; Charles Chukwuma; Maximian Chukwura; Mitsui Osk
Lines; 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 November 21, 2017 for
arraignment/or hearing of motion for issuance of Bench Warrant.
- 20. What Innoson did next – Innoson approached the Bank for a reconciliation of his account and pleaded for a debt forgiveness.
A reconciliation was carried out on the account – which had a debit
balance of N1,654,481,895.04 as at December 31, 2011. In the spirit of
amicable resolution and EFCC intervention, the Bank said it agreed to
forego the sum of N559,374,072.09 which represented default charges that
has accrued on the account and debited in line with the loan agreement
between the customer and the Bank.
- 22. Based on this, the Bank
decided to accept from the customer, the sum of N1,095,107,822.95 as
full and final payment of the customer’s indebtedness to the Bank,
provided that same shall be fully paid not later than (30) days from the
date of the letter written to him.
- 23. Surprisingly, Innoson
commenced suit no:FHC/AWK/CS/2012 against the Bank at the Federal High
Court, Awka stating the bank had debited its account with excess charges
totalling N559,374,072.09 and obtained judgement in excess of
N4.7Billion against the Bank.
- 24. Again choosing to dishonour an
agreement that was amicably reached between him and the Bank for a full
and final settlement of N1,095,107,822.95 wherein the Bank graciously
forgave him the sum of N559,374,072.09 which accrued on his account
during the period which he abandoned his account.
- 25. To further
stall the criminal proceedings against him, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and
his company instituted suits at the Federal High Court, Abuja, as well
as the Federal High Court, Awka in January 2014 against The Inspector
General of Police, The Nigeria Police Force and Investigating
Officer(s), seeking declaratory and injunctive reliefs, including orders
restraining the Police from commencing criminal proceedings against
Innoson and Chief Innocent Chukwuma.
- 26. Furthermore, in a bid
to stall the Bank’s recovery steps, and distract the Bank from focusing
on the criminal action, as well as civil actions filed for recovery of
the debt, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and his company Innoson, have
continued to institute various spurious suits before various courts,
claiming frivolous and outrageous sums against the Bank.
- 27. What EFCC is Saying – they have released Nnewi, Anambra-State born Industrialist, Chief Innocent Chukwuma on bail.
”The business man who runs a local auto assembly plant was arrested on
Tuesday December 19, 2017 at his Enugu residence, following his refusal
to respond to invitations by the Commission, after initially being
granted administrative bail by the Commission, while his surety could
also not be found.
- 29. “Unfortunately the industrialist resisted
arrest and stirred controversy by bringing six truck-loads of thugs to
block the entrance to his Plot W1, Industrial Layout, Abakaliki Road,
Emeni, Enugu, home.
- 30. “This was after he initially misled the
Police Command by informing them that his home had been invaded by armed
robbers and kidnappers despite the fact that operatives of the
Commission duly identified themselves to policemen guarding his home.
“His unruly thugs encircled and manhandled operatives of the Commission
who had gone to effect the arrest. Consequently, a distress call was
sent to the Commission’s Enugu Office for reinforcement.
- 32. “In
all of this, the Commission’s operatives acted with decorum and
civility. No one was manhandled or assaulted by the EFCC team, and not a
single shot was fired, despite the provocation.
- 33. “Chief
Chukwuma and his brother, Charles Chukwuma (who is still at large), are
being investigated by the Insurance and Capital Market Fraud Section of
the Commission’s office in Lagos over matters bordering on N1, 478, 366,
859.66 fraud and forgery.
- 34. ‘The industrialist, among other infractions, allegedly used forged documents to secure tax waivers.”
After Innoson Motors’s CEO, Innocent Chukwuma was arrested, his company
took the battle to social media. Immediately, numerous sponsored social
media campaigns against the Bank such as #BewareOfGTBank and
#WhatIsWrongWithGTBank sprang up.
- 36. The company Innoson also
went on Television, with its owner, Dr Innocent Chukwuma granting an
interview to TVC, where he claimed he had obtained a judgement of N8bn
against the bank. He added that the bank pleaded with him over their
inability to pay, and that he graciously offered to accept shares of the
bank as payment.
- 37. GTBank on their part has chosen to remain silent on the matter, perhaps trusting in the integrity of the legal system.
A staff of the bank who spoke under anonymity, stated: “Irrespective of
the issues we are facing with the company, Innoson remains a customer
of the bank and we owe him a duty of confidentiality and to conduct
ourselves in a responsible manner towards him”.
- 39. In
responding to Innoson’s motion for a stay of criminal proceedings at the
Court of Appeal, the Honourable Justice J.S Ikyegh on September 17,
2017 dismissed the motion for being unmeritorious and ordered that
proceeding in the criminal case against Innoson should proceed.
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.