A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Innocent Chukwuma, the Chief Executive Officer of Innosson Nigeria Ltd.
Justice Ayokunle Faji, who delivered the judgment, issued the warrant on Monday, June 24, for the arrest of Chukwuma and two others.
Africa News24 (AN24) reports that the judgment is coming after the Federal Government had a week ago urged the Court to issue a bench warrant for Chukwuma and some of his employees.
Chukwuma and two others were charged in a fraud case before Justice Faji.
The Police had earlier charged them with an alleged N2.4billion shipping fraud, but the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), later took over the case.
Others named in the charge are Charles Chukwuma, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Anajekwu Sunny.
The prosecution prayed the court to order the arrest of Innoson Motors Chairman and his staff for failing to turn up to take their plea in the criminal charge.
Last week’s Monday, the Innosson and his staff were absent in court.
Julius Ajakaiye, the Prosecuting counsel, moved an application, urging the court to order the absent defendants’ arrested.
The Prosecuting counsel said the charge was served on them through a court-ordered February 8, 2016, substituted service following the AGF’s take-over of the case.
Consequently, Ajakaiye said the defendants were yet to take their plea and should, therefore, be compelled to appear.
Ajakaiye added that an April 12, 2016, amended charge could not be served on the absent defendants.
The Prosecuting counsel urged the court to grant his application by ordering their arrest.
However, Chief George Uwechue (SAN) and Prof. C. Mbadugha, the defence counsel, prayed the court to dismiss the application.
The defence counsel argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to issue the warrant against the defendants “because they were not properly summoned before the court”.
Uwechue and Mbadugha said the application offends Order 6 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, adding that there was no proper service on their clients.