Perspective: EFCC’s arrest of Innoson for….WHAT? By Clem Aguiyi

When fire is burning over your roof, you must reach a decision whether to fetch water to put out the fire or resign to fate and watch the fire burn. It’s all about the choice we make.

The illegal arrest and detention of citizen Innocent Chukwuma by the EFCC at the instigation of GTBank, is one of such troubling time when we as a people must reach a decision to organize and mobilize to put out the fire of political and economic war that is waged against us. We must by our collective will signal to Pharaoh that as a people we demand respect and justice by recognition.

I am not writing this because Innoson is Igbo. I am Igbo, I love Nigeria and I consider myself at all time a patriot. I will take this same position for either an Aliko or Adenuga. Nigeria is not a project of any single individual or tribe. It’s a project that belongs to all of us. The single most powerful word I found in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the word ‘we’ in the opening preamble where it says ‘We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.

For the Nigerian project to succeed means we the people must play our individual and collective parts. Therefore, as Nigerians, we must not allow EFCC’s impunity and corporate tyranny as we have witnessed to enjoy a free and endless ride at the expense of the rule of law.

So many things are indeed broken about us and the onus is on Pharaoh and his men to fix this broken trust and relationship. If the Pharaoh loves this country as much as I do, I hope he will listen to me this one time and stop breeding disgruntled citizens by his actions and inactions.

I listened with broken heart as the Innosons shared their ordeals in the hands of EFCC operatives; how their 4 month old baby was tear gassed; how the family matriarch was physically assaulted and how Innoson himself was taken away as a captive in his underpants.

If Innoson who ought to be protected as a national icon will be mistreated by corporate tyrants and Pharaoh’s men, then the plight of ordinary mortals are better imagined.

Make no mistake, the only reason Innoson was treated like a common criminal and the wife slapped by an uncircumcised philistine is because they are viewed as Hebrew. Nigeria is a dangerous place to live, not because of men like Ibrahim Magu or corporations like the GTBank, but because of people who are silent when the whip is laid on the back of another person.

When this government used FCDA to destroy my African Town Resort and shared my assets among themselves as they would do the spoils of war, we didn’t speak; when they destroyed Ibeto’s cement business to protect their own monopoly, we didn’t speak; when they came after Sun newspaper and other business where OUK had interest, we still didn’t speak; then they caused Nnamdi Kanu to disappear into thin air without a trace and intimidated Ifeanyi Ubah of Capital Oil, still we didn’t speak; they came against one of their own , Atiku Abubakar because he spoke of justice for all, yet we didn’t speak; now it is Innoson and very soon it will be you, your wives or kids and there will be no one to speak out.

I recall warning us at the height of my own physical persecution to be vigilant because Pharaoh and his men are on rampage and their target is to destroy every Hebrew male child that speaks against the big Satan.

Interestingly, the Attorney General who supervises EFCC claimed ignorance of reasons for Innoson’s arrest. If the Attorney General is not aware of such a high profile action, what then will Magu say is the reason for EFCC’s action at the instance of a party who is in court with him? What is wrong in allowing the parties to exhaust their already progressing court processes? Whose script is EFCC acting?

For starters, Innoson’s crime was that he is Igbo and a Nigerian operating a Current Account with GTBank. As a customer he obtained, and repaid in full a loan of N1.3billion from the bank.

He later discovered that between March 2004 to Dec 2011 GTB literally stole Seven hundred and Eighty-Six Million, Two Hundred and Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Five Naira, Ninety Nine kobo (N786, 205,955.99) from his account.

GTB never the less accepted to have fraudulently helped themselves with Five Hundred and Fifty-Nine Million, three Hundred and Seventy-Two naira, Nine kobo (N 559.3Million) only.

Innoson agreed to their version and decided that the said agreed amount of N559.3million is paid with a 22% interest rate because he was repaying his entire loan with the Bank at 22% interest rate. GTBank refused and offered to repay at 7% interest rate which is not acceptable to Innoson.

Consequently, in 2012, Innoson sued GTBank at Federal High Court Awka whereby the court delivered Judgment in favor of Innoson in excess of N4.7billion against GTBank. The court also ordered GTBank to pay 22 % (percent ) interest on the Judgment debt until all the payment had been made .

In 2013 , GTBank appealed against the judgment to the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division. The Court of Appeal in a considered ruling ordered GTBank to pay the Judgment debt of N6billion Inclusive of the accrued interest and any interest that would subsequently accrue thereon into an interest yielding account in the Name of the Chief Registrar of the Court. Dissatisfied, with the Appeal Court ruling GTBank went to the Supreme Court where the case is alive at this material time.

In another case between Innoson /GTBank/Nigerian Custom Service in which the Nigerian Customs Service illegally Auctioned properties belonging to Innoson. Innoson challenged the action of the Nigerian Custom Service at the Federal High Court , Ibadan .

On July 29 ,2011, In a Garnishee Order Absolute , the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan ordered GTBank to Pay Innoson #2,048,737,443,67 (#2billion) from Nigerian Customs account in GTBank . Rather than Comply with the Garnishee Order Absolute of the Court , GTBank on February 6, 2015 appealed the Judgment , but the Court of Appeal in Appeal no. CA/1/258/2011 affirmed the Judgment of the Federal High Court and ordered GTBank to pay the Judgment debt of #2,048,737,443.67 to Innoson .

GTBank again appealed to the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal’s decision. On May 12, 2017 , Supreme Court in its wisdom dismissed the GTB appeal against Innoson .

As a result , Innoson commenced a N400 billion suit against GTBank at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Rather than face the court processes GTBbank instead filed a petition against Innoson alleging forgery which led to the suit No : FHC /L/565C/2015 by Police . On February 17, 2016, the Police properly and competently withdrew the charges against Innoson for lack of merit.

On September 1 , 2014 , GTBank secured an ex parte order on Innoson Nigeria Limited, dated September 1, 2014 with suit no FHC/L/CS/1119/2014 , filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos , between GTBank and Innoson Nigeria Limited , issued by Justice Okon Abang, ordering that , pending the hearing and the determination of the substantive suit , all Commercial Banks in Nigeria were restrained from accepting in any manner whatsoever to any mandate or instruction presented to them by Innoson Companies or any of its agents or nominees for withdrawal of any sum of money standing to the credit of any account maintained by the company in all the banks. However, on June 10, 2015, Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in a considered ruling set aside the ex parte order of September 1, 2014, by Justice Okon Abang and the writ of summon as well.

Innoson then slammed a N30 billion suit on GTBank for what it had suffered in monetary terms and reputational terms during the months when the accounts of its companies in all Nigerian banks were frozen. Innoson as at today has Judgment debt of about N10billion based on 22% interest rate against GTBank.

Obviously, GTBank wants Innoson dead with EFCC as a willing undertaker? If EFCC is out to fight corruption shouldn’t it be arresting GT Bank instead. +

Thankfully this matter is now beyond Innoson per se. It’s a battle we the people of Nigeria must fight against corporate tyranny and official impunity. Anyone with money with GTBank should by now understand that the bank is lawless and is probably fraudulently stealing from your account via illegal deductions. The time to yank off your money and boycott GTBank is now. A word is enough for the wise.

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