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For the sixth time, Innoson fails to appear in court

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Innocent Chukwuma, the Chairman of Innoson Motors Ltd, on Wednesday in Lagos failed to appear for his scheduled arraignment for the sixth time over alleged fraud.
Innoson was scheduled to appear before a new judge, Justice Olusola Williams, at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Mojisola Dada, the judge initially assigned to hear the case, had withdrawn following Innoson’s February 12 petition to the National Judicial Council.
The NJC while absolving Dada of any wrongdoing, recommended that the case be reassigned by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, to another judge, and was subsequently reassigned to Williams.
Following the absence of the automobile CEO in court on Wednesday, Williams asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to produce him for arraignment on the new date of sitting.
The judge said: “I believe it is the job of the prosecution to bring the defendant to court.
“The judge is just to make an order that he should appear in court but we cannot enforce the order. The responsibility still lies on the EFCC to make sure he is in court.”
NAN also reports that Innoson had previously failed to appear before Justice Dada five times and had been declared wanted by the judge following a request by the EFCC.
Earlier during proceedings, Anselem Ozioko, the lead EFCC counsel, had informed the court that Innoson and his legal representatives were absent in court.
Ozioko said: “My Lord, it appears that the second defendant and my learned colleagues from the other side are not in court.
“He has refused to come for his arraignment for the sixth time even when the matter was before your learned brother, Justice Dada, despite all efforts to bring him here.
“He has also filed seven different applications in between the period he was supposed to be arraigned.”
The prosecutor said that the applications filed by Innoson to allegedly stall his arraignment are an application challenging the jurisdiction of court, an application to disqualify himself from the charge before the court.
Others are an order of stay of execution on bench warrant issued by the court and a stay of execution of warrant of arrest.
Ozioko also informed the court that Innoson had refused to honor the court’s order by his continuous absence in court after he was granted an administrative bail by the EFCC.
He said: “My Lord, in view of the absence of the defendant, we shall be asking for an adjournment date.”
Williams, however, adjourned the case until Oct. 10 for arraignment.
Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd., were to be arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretences, stealing and forgery in a transaction with Guaranty Trust Bank.
According to the charge, the defendants committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain by false pretences containers of motorcycle, spare parts and raw materials, property of GTB from Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Apapa, Lagos.
They are alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them via their clearing agents the goods which were imported from China in the name of GTB by falsely pretending that they were authorized by the bank to clear the goods.
The prosecution claimed that the defendants in order to facilitate the fraud forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mutsui O.S.K Lines by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank staff.
The alleged forgery was in order that the forged documents be used or acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of any person within Lagos or elsewhere.
The offences contravened Sections 1(1)(b), 1(3), and 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2016 and Sections 309(9), 388, 465 and 467(1)(j) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State 2003.

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BUSINESS

Zenith Bank Plc debuts *966*911# account control code

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Zenith Bank Plc has become the first Nigerian Bank to successfully launch its Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) account control code, *966*911#.

This unique code stops unauthorized transactions and protects the account holder’s funds in the event of mobile phone, ATM Card or hardware token loss as well as account details compromise.

Speaking at the launch of the new *966# Eazy Banking account protection code, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Peter Amangbo explained that the Bank has always been at the forefront of innovating products that enhance customer comfort and safety at all times.

He also pointed out that all debit transactions on an account would be prevented once the account holder dials *966*911# from any phone and follows the text prompts. Such a restriction can only be lifted when the customer visits a Zenith Bank branch in person.

The Bank MD also stressed that the *966*911# account control code is a flagship code aimed at further enhancing account security.

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Coronation Merchant Bank ranked best investment bank in Nigeria

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Coronation Merchant Bank has been named the best investment bank in Nigeria by the Global Finance Magazine.

According to a statement, the organisation, which named its 20th annual World’s Best Investment Banks in an exclusive survey, will publish the list in April.

The statement said winning organisations would be honoured at an awards ceremony on the morning of October 19, 2019 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC during the International Monetary Fund/World Bank annual meetings.

Coronation, in a statement on Monday, said while J.P. Morgan was honoured as the best investment bank in the world for 2019, it was recognised as the best investment bank in Nigeria.

Barclays, VTB Capital and DBS Bank got the recognition as best investment banks in Western Europe, Central; East Europe and Asia – Pacific regions, respectively.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Coronation MB, Abu Jimoh, while commenting on the award, said, “We are delighted to be recognised as the Best Investment Bank in Nigeria.

“Our successes and achievements over the years are a reflection of the hard work and commitment of our members of staff, management and board in ensuring we maintain our core values of integrity, innovation and excellence in service delivery.

“This award affirms that we are on course to achieving our long-term goal of becoming Africa’s premier investment bank.”

The Bank said its achievements over the years led to numerous accolades in recognition of its excellent service delivery, provision of tailor-made solutions and good corporate governance.

It said in 2018, it received several national and international awards for product and service innovation and sound corporate governance practices, such as best investment bank in Nigeria by World Finance, fastest growing investment bank by Global Banking Finance Review, best investment bank by Global Business Outlook, best investment bank and fund managers by International Finance Magazine and best investment bank in Nigeria by BusinessDay.

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Zenith Bank nets N193bn profit, offers N2.50 final Dividend

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Zenith Bank Plc has reported a growth of 16. 2 per cent in its profit before tax (PBT) as well as 11.3 per cent growth in profit after tax (PAT) for the year ended December 31, 2018.

According to the audited results made available yesterday, the lender recorded a decline in gross earnings from N745.189 billion in 2017 to N630.344 billion in 2018. Net interest income improved to N295.594 billion compared with N257.991 billion in 2017.

However, impairment charges were reduced from N98.29 billion to N18.372 billion. Similarly, the bank reduced operating expenses from N144.893 billion to N137.897 billion. Consequently, PBT improved from N199.319 billion in 2017 to N231.685 billion, while PAT rose from N173.791 billion to N193.424 billion in 2018. The directors have proposed a final dividend of N2.50 per share which in addition to the N0.30 per share paid as interim dividend amounts to N2.80 per share, compared to N2.70 in 2017.

A further analysis of the results showed that Zenith Bank Plc was cautions in loans advancement to customers in 2018. Loans and advancements fell from N1.823 trillion, as against N2.1 trillion in 2017. But customers deposit increased from N3.437 trillion to N3.690 trillion in 2018.

The stock market reacted positively to the Zenith Bank Plc ‘s results as its share price gained 5.6 per cent to close higher at N25.35 per share. In all, the stock market rebounded yesterday with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rising 0.7 per cent to close at 32,406.18 compared with a decline of 1.61 per cent the previous day.

Similarly, market capitalisation added N80.6 billion to close at N12.1 trillion.

In all, 16 stocks appreciated led by Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc with 9.5 per cent apiece, trailed by Associated Bus Company Plc with 9.0 per cent. Academy Press Plc chalked up 8.1 per cent, while Oando Plc garnered 6.2 per cent.

Conversely, First Aluminium Nigeria Plc led the price losers with 10 per cent, trailed by Transcorp Plc with 9.7 per cent. Unity Bank Plc and Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc shed 9.6 per cent and 6.9 per cent in that order.

Meanwhile, activity level also strengthened as volume and value traded improved 55.4 per cent and 23.7 per cent to 361.8 million shares and N4.2 billion respectively. TRANSCORP (Transcorp Plc (120.2 million shares),Zenith Bank (37.3 million shares) and FBN Holdings Plc (31.2 million shares) were the top traded by volume while Dangote Cement Plc, (N951.6 million), Zenith Bank Plc (N925.5 million) and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N778.0 million) led the top traded by value.

-THISDAY
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