AGF, Malami speaks on arrest of Innoson Motors chief

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The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, has said that he is yet to briefed on the facts that led to the arrest and detention of the chairman of Innoson Motors company, Innocent Chukwuma, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mr. Malami stated this on Thursday while speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at the Presidential Villa Abuja. The FEC meeting which was started on Wednesday was concluded Thursday afternoon. It was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The arrest of Mr. Chukwuma has generated controversy with many saying the EFCC over-reached itself by getting involved in a commercial matter between a bank and its client. The EFCC, however, said Mr. Chukwuma jumped bail and is being investigated for alleged forgery.

Speaking Thursday on the matter, Mr. Malami said, “In all sincerity, l wasn’t privy to facts that led to the stated arrest. I haven’t been briefed by relevant agencies.

“But one thing l know is the fact that there has been a case between him and the GTBank that is pending in court and it is being prosecuted. “Until I am briefed by relevant arrest agencies, I am not in a clear position to make any disclosure about the arrest.”

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Mr. Chukwuma, arrested on Tuesday, was granted bail on Wednesday by the EFCC. Mr. Malami also told reporters that FEC approved two memos he submitted for consideration on Thursday.

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The first one, he said, relates to a Copyright Bill which is intended to be transmitted from the executive arm to the National Assembly. Mr. Malami said the bill also relates to the creative industry. He said it is meant to ensure the protection of creative works against piracy and protection of intellectual property rights.

“The bill was approved by the council and the attorney-general had been accordingly instructed to send the bill to the National Assembly for passage into law and eventual assent by the president if passed,” he said.

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The AGF said the second memo that was presented from the Federal Ministry of Justice was on the suppression of piracy and maritime offences.

He said the intention is to accord protection to the maritime industry against piracy and “indeed come up with a comprehensive policy position incorporated into the bill which is intended to ensure that at the end of the day, the international convention that has been ratified by Nigeria overtime in relation to maritime industry is incorporated into the bill with a view to bringing it in line with international best practices and to ensure the protection of Nigeria’s maritime boundary.

“The same bill as processed by the Office of the Attorney-General has been approved by the council and the attorney-general has accordingly been instructed to send the bill to the National Assembly for passage and eventual assent by the president if passed by the National Assembly,” Mr. Malami said.

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