Traditional Rulers in Anambra South Senatorial district of the state have condemned what they called the harassment and intimidation of their son, Chief Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) company, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The monarchs who numbered above 30, and who briefed journalists in the palace of their patron, Igwe Kenneth Orizu said their son, Chukwuma was not a criminal and should not be haunted as such.
They described the industrialist as a studious and hard working person, who was known to all for his industry and dedication to his business, as well as providing jobs for teeming Nigerian populace.
The traditional rulers called on President Muhammad Buhari to intervene in the present rift between the Guarantee Trust Bank Plc and the Chairman of Innoson Group, which they said, had lingered through the courts over the period.
They also accused EFCC of bias in the various ways it had been handling the matter, especially attempts to abduct Chukwuma from his Enugu home earlier.
In an address signed by the Grand Patron of the forum, Igwe (Dr.) Kenneth Orizu III of Nnewi with 30 other traditional rulers, the monarchs reasoned that the intervention of Mr. President becomes very expedient so as not to allow “the little crisis degenerate into a bigger crisis that will be difficult and costly to resolve.”
The forum specifically condemned the involvement and roles of the EFCC in the persecution of the renowned industrialist.
Part of the text reads, “The Royal fathers of Anambra South Traditional Rulers Forum is calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to look critically into the roles and activities of the EFCC on the ongoing business dispute between the Guarantee Trust Bank PLC and Innoson Nigeria Ltd.
“It has become obvious that the EFCC is not following laid down procedures and judicial precedence in the prosecution of the alleged trumped up charge against our son, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Nigeria Ltd.
“As leaders and elders of the land, knowing fully well the consequences and crisis the roles and activities of the EFCC may cause, we have decided to use this medium call on you, Mr. President, to call EFCC to order on this matter.”
They recalled several ordeals suffered by the Innoson boss in the hands of the anti graft agency; especially how he was bundled out of his house like a common criminal by EFCC that invaded his Enugu residence in the middle of the night of 19th December, 2017.
“The monarchs wandered why EFCC will persecute such a distinguished Nigerian, who does not only parade four national honours to his credit but also provides direct employment to over 7,000; and indirect jobs to about 15,000 Nigerians. “This, to us, is an insult,” the forum stated.
While calling on Buhari to direct the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to call his officers to order and to stop displaying elements of bias in the said dispute, the monarchs also called on the IGP and the Lagos State Police Commissioner, to “dutifully and responsibly” investigate the recent attack on Prof. McCarthy Mbadugha, Innoson’s lawyer, by assassins.
They said it was believed to have been sponsored by Innoson’s opponents.