The apex socio-cultural organization of the Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has hailed the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case between Innoson Group of Companies and Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB.
The organisation gave the commendation in a statement by Chief Emeka Attamah, media adviser to its President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, released in Abuja on Monday.
Nwodo said that by the judgment, the apex court refused to be used in a purported ethnic warfare to thwart Innoson of a judicial victory at the Court of Appeal.
“The judgment of the Supreme Court has shown that the judiciary remains the last bastion of hope for the common man.
“It is victory for democracy and an indication that there is still hope for the country,” he said.
He said it was obvious that some vested interests were colluding with the EFCC to deny Innoson of his rights and to tarnish his well-earned reputation as a foremost manufacturer and investor in the country.
The president-general ascribed Innoson’s travails to the systematic harassment and intimidation of Igbo sons and daughters in the country due to ethnic sentiments.
He recalled the traumatic experiences of other Igbo sons, including Chief Cletus Ibeto and Chief Ifeanyi Uba, whose businesses were almost grounded by their detractors, but for their tenacity and shrewd business acumen.
“Ohanaeze commended the fighting spirit of Chief Innocent Chukwuma, the CEO of Innoson Group of Companies, for his doggedness and courage notwithstanding attempts to intimidate him with trumped-up criminal charges.
“No amount of intimidation or harassment will dampen the zeal of Ndigbo for a united Nigeria.
“It will only ginger them on in the fight for a restructured nation where every individual will be free to pursue his legitimate aspirations and businesses in a healthy, competitive atmosphere,’’ the statement read.
Nwodo called on the bank involved to obey the court order and pay the stipulated amount without delay to restore the confidence of the people in it.