Senate condemns EFCC arrest of Innoson boss, orders 24-hour probe


The Senate on Wednesday berated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the Tuesday arrest of the Chairman/Managing Director of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, Innocent Chukwuma.

The lawmakers accused the EFCC of highhandedness and using military approach.

 They, therefore, mandated the Senate Committee on Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption to investigate the matter and report back to the chamber on Thursday.

Though the Senate rejected an additional prayer by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, which was seconded by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, that the Committee on Women Affairs investigates the alleged assault on Chwukuma’s wife by EFCC operatives, the lawmakers added the task to the terms of reference of the probe panel.

Operatives of the EFCC had stormed Chukwuma’s home at Savage Crescent in the GRA area of Enugu State on Tuesday, during which some of the senators alleged that his wife was assaulted before the businessman was forcefully arrested.

The EFCC operatives, who were accompanied by heavily armed policemen, stormed the building around 7.30am.

At the plenary on Wednesday, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, raised a point of order to criticise EFCC for the arrest, which, according to him, was a private issue between a bank and its customer.

“If we reduce our security agencies into agencies of debt recovery, then we are doomed as a nation,” Ekweremadu stated.

Ekweremadu said, “I would like to seek your indulgence to raise the matter of Mr. Innocent Chukwuma who we call ‘Innoson,’ by the EFCC over a matter between Mr. Chukwuma and Guarantee Trust Bank.

“At the inception of this Senate, we all took an oath to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God forbid that a day will come when we will sit back as a Senate and watch an attack on the liberty of any citizen.”