Chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma who has failed to attend his arraignment for the third time, at an Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos has petitioned the National Judicial Commission (NJC) against Justice Mojisola Dada.
Justice Mojisola Dada had on Feb. 9 issued a bench warrant for Innoson’s arrest following his failures to appear in court on Jan. 17 and Feb. 9 to take his plea for fraud charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
At the resume of the proceedings on Wednesday, Justice Dada disclosed in court that Innoson had filed a petition against her to the National Judicial Commission (NJC).
The judge also revealed that she will not be hearing the case until she responds to the grounds in the petition against her
“I have no personal interest in this case, infact, I’ll be relieved if this case is taken of me as it will be a reduction of my work load.”
“This case is adjourned till Wednesday April 25, for arraignment,” she said.
Earlier, Innoson counsel, Mr George Uwechue (SAN) informed the court that he had filed four applications in the suit.
He said the applications should be heard by the court first before Innoson could be arraigned.
Uwechue noted that the EFCC had just served the defence with an amended charge despite a pending appeal in the higher court over the charges.
“We have just been served with the amended charge by the EFCC, My Lord, there is a Notice of Appeal filed against the order of this Honourable Court.
“There is also at the Court of Appeal, a Notice to Stay Proceedings of this matter, we were not given adequate time to study the charge.
“The charge is an abuse of court processes, there is a charge pending at the Federal High Court filed against the first defendant by the Federal Government.
Responding, Mr A. B. C Ozioko, the lead prosecuting counsel of the EFCC asked that the arraignment take place as scheduled noting that the applications filed by the defence was a ploy to delay proceedings.
“The defence running to the NJC is immaterial, this case should not be treated as special, it is like any other case, I hear the first defendant may be in court.
“The defence filed five applications not four as alleged by the Senior Advocate,” he said.
“On Jan. 15, they filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of this court, on Jan.18, they asked for a mandatory injunction that the EFCC not be heard in any of the application.
“On Feb. 5 they filed another application that Your Lordship disqualifies herself, on Feb. 9, they filed an application requesting for the stay of execution of the order of the bench warrant and on Feb. 12, they asked My Lordship to dismiss the bench warrant.
“Prof. J. N Mbadugha, the counsel to the second defendant has abused court processes, it is not meant to harrass and intimidate the court,” he said.