Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has asked the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to prosecute a Lagos-based business mogul, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, his company, Innoson Nigeria Limited, and four others over alleged forgery.
In his ruling on Wednesday, Justice Saidu predicated the court’s decision on an application filed before the court by the Ministry of Justice that the AGF has taken over the prosecution of the accused persons.
However, the prosecutor from the office of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) had opposed the application filed by the Justice Ministry.
After listening to the arguments of the counsel to the two parties, the court decided that the AGF should begin the prosecution of the accused persons.
Consequently, the AGF filed an amended four-count criminal charge against the accused persons. Those to be arraigned alongside the accused businessman are Charles Chukwu, Maximilian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Annajekwu Sunny.
In the amended charge (FHC/L/565/C/2015) filed before the court by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Diri, the accused were said to have between January 2010 and April 2011, at the Apapa Wharf, criminally conspired to falsify shipping documents which they deposited with Mitsui Osk Lines.
The documents were used as collaterals for the purpose of clearance of polyvinylchloride (PVC) used in the production of ceilings and other imported items.
Diri alleged that the accused persons harboured an intention to defraud Mitsui Osk Lines via the falsified documents, which were used as collaterals to obtain a loan of N2.4 billion from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
The loan was for the purpose of clearing the imported items.
All the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under Sections 3(6), 1 (2) (C) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
The case has been adjourned till May 31 for hearing.