The absence of the Chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd, Innocent Chukwuma, yesterday stalled his arraignment at a Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos.The trial judge, Mojisola Dada, had on February 9, 2018 issued a bench warrant against the accused.
This followed his failure to appear in court on two previous proceedings to take his plea.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a four-count charge against him bordering on conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, stealing and forgery.
According to the prosecutor, the defendants committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.
However, during proceedings yesterday, Justice Dada disclosed that the defendant had filed a petition against her to the National Judicial Commission (NJC).
She said she would not take further steps in the hearing of the case until she responds to the undisclosed grounds in the petition against her.
“I have no personal interest in this case, in fact, I’ll be relieved if this case is taken off me, as it would be a reduction of my work load. This case is adjourned till April 25, for arraignment,” she said.
At the resumed hearing, the defence counsel, Mr. George Uweche (SAN), told the court that he had filed four applications before the court.
He prayed the court to hear the applications before Innoson could be arraigned.
Uweche disclosed that despite the pending appeal over the matter in the higher court, EFCC had again just served the defence with an amended charge.
He said: “We have just been served the amended charge by the EFCC, My Lord, there is a notice of appeal filed against the order of this honourable court.”