by Stella Ukwuoma
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is in the eyes of the storms again. No doubt a lot of Nigerians would have loved to know the reason they are trending again is the trial of Ex SSG, NIA boss or even probe of the famous Mainagate to mention but a few pending cases.
Nigerians were however shocked to learn EFCC is in the news for ‘buying’ a civil matter between a customer and a service provider. In other words, a civil matter between Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman of Innoson Nigeria Ltd and his banker, Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB).
Ordinarily, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, or Consumers Protection Council, CPC, would have been in a better position to handle such a case but no, it’s the holy EFCC again!
In spite of the misunderstanding being at present, a matter of litigation, the EFCC breezed in and forcefully moved Mr. Chukwuma to their facility where they had detained him for days until public outcry forced them to set him free alleging resistance by his staff.
While a professional job; assuming EFCC was the right body to act would have been inviting both parties concerned or detaining the parties concerned; only Mr. Innocent Chukwuma was harassed.
Emerging revelations suggest that Innoson Nigeria Ltd had an altercation with its banker, which eventually led both parties to approach the courts.
It has also been revealed that judgments at the High Courts and Appeal Courts so far are in favour of Innoson Nigeria Ltd and GTB is yet to comply with any of the court rulings.
Also, both parties currently are in Supreme Court over the same issue.
In the light of the recent revelations, Nigerians await an explanation from the anti-graft agency pertaining to its action.
As that is being awaited, the EFCC may also want to provide answers to the following questions.
(1) Who reported the issue to EFCC?
(2) Was any preliminary investigation carried out before the arrest of Mr. Chukwuma?
(3) Mr. Chukwuma’s aides claim that their boss did not receive invitation from the EFCC for questioning as alleged by the anti-graft agency. They added that the only invitation their boss received was last year which he duly obliged. Can the EFCC make public their dishonoured invitation to Mr. Chukwuma?
(4) Did the EFCC also invite GTB for questioning and when?
(5) Is the EFCC in partnership with GTB?
(6) If there was a proper summon, would Innoson workers have attempted to protect their boss from the arrest team?