Senate President Bukola Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki has expressed displeasure over the arrest of Innocent Chukwuma, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Innoson Motors.
Yesterday, we had reported the news on how operatives the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Chukwuma, in his residence in Enugu. This was made known in a series of tweets on the company made saying its CEO was arrested at his Enugu residence without prior invitation and accused Nigeria’s new generation bank, Guaranty Trust Bank of being behind the arrest, an allegation the bank denied.
Innocent Chukwuma, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Innoson Motors
The EFCC however stated that Chukwuma was arrested for jumping an administrative bail alleging that he failed to honour its invitation.
Today, however, the Senate President- Saraki said it is the role of lawmakers to protect the fundamental rights of citizens suggesting that the anti-graft body may be out of its focus. He said:
“As a society that we are all planning that our country to be civilised, I think this does not speak well of the country,” he said.
“How a private commercial transaction has now become the focus of the EFCC. I think this area is the focus.
“Whether he is owing or not, I think we must be seen protecting the fundamental rights.
“I have never seen where FBI interferes between City Bank and Ford Motors, or the financial crime agency in UK intervenes.
“We are just making a mockery of ourselves and we really should be able to do the right thing.”
Earlier, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekeweremadu, wondered why the Innoson CEO would be treated like a “common criminal” over a transaction between him and his bank.
“Any person who is arrested and detained should be informed reason for his arrest,”
“As I speak Mr Innoson Chukwuma is yet to be informed of what led to his arrest or detention but if you go through the media today, the story is that he is owing GTB.
“As a lawyer I’m at a loss as to how a transaction between someone and his bank will inform the EFCC. Mr Innocent Chukwuma is one of the greatest industrialists we have in this country today.
“The story he told me is that he is not owing the bank anything. He borrowed money from the bank which he has since repaid but the bank kept charging money and withdrawing it from his account.
“The fact that the matter is in court and it was a commercial transaction gives no room for the intervention of EFCC. I will like to appeal to this senate to ensure that Mr Innocent Chukwuma is released promptly.”
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