Intervene In Innoson/GTB Rift, Traditional Rulers Urge Buhari

The Traditional Rulers Forum has appealed to President Muhammad Buhari to intervene in the rift between Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) and Chairman, Innoson Group of Companies, Mr Innocent Chukwuma.

In an address presented by the forum (Anambra South Senatorial Zone), and signed by the Grand Patron, Igwe Kenneth Orizu III Nnewi, they noted that the rift had lingered over a period in the courts.

The monarchs maintained that the intervention of Mr President would be very expedient now.

According to Anambra State Ministry of Information and Communications Strategy, the royal fathers enjoined President Buhari to look into the matter, so as not to allow ‘the little crisis to degenerate into a bigger one that will be difficult and costly to resolve.’

The forum, however, condemned the involvement and roles of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the prosecution of the renowned industrialist.

The group noted, “The royal fathers are calling on President Buhari to look critically into the roles and activities of the EFCC in the ongoing business dispute between the Guarantee Trust Bank Plc., and Innoson Nigeria Ltd.’’

It added, “The EFCC did not follow laid down procedures and judicial precedence in the prosecution of the alleged charges against our son, Chief Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Nigeria Ltd.

“We elders deemed it fit to get the president into knowing what our son is suffering at the hands of the EFCC and to help to resolve the issue.

“We recall several ordeals suffered by the Innoson boss at the hands of anti graft agency.

“Mr Chukwuma’s Enugu residence was invaded in the middle of the night of Dec. 19, 2017 by EFCC. He was bundled out of his house like a common criminal.

“We wonder why EFCC will persecute such a distinguished Nigerian, with four national honours to his credit, who provides direct employment to no fewer than 7,000 and indirect jobs to about 15,000 Nigerians.”

“This, to us, is an insult,’’ they added.

The forum called 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 Inspector General (IG) of Police and the Lagos State Police Commissioner, to ‘dutifully and responsibly’ investigate the recent attacks on Prof. McCarthy Mbadugha, Innoson’s lawyer, by assassins.

“The IG should arrest the perpetrators and unravel the reason behind such attack,” the royal fathers said.

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