The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday stayed proceedings in the criminal charges filed by the Inspector-General of Police against businessman, Innocent Chukwuma, and his company, Innoson Nigeria Limited.
The other defendants in the charge, marked FHC/L/565c/16, are Charles Chukwu, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Anajekwu Sunny.
The police, in the five charges against them, alleged that the defendants conspired among themselves to unlawfully falsify shipping clearance documents in respect of a N2.4bn consignment.
The police claimed that the defendants committed the offence at Apapa wharf on October 10, 2013.
The police prosecutor who signed the charge sheet, U.S. Nwodo, said the offences were contrary to sections 1(2) (c) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation 2004.
But the defendants have yet to be arraigned, though the case has been in court since 2016.
When the matter was called on Thursday before Justice Ayokunle Faji, the judge said he would be staying proceedings pending the decision of the Supreme Court on some appeals stemming from the case.
“In view of the pending motion for stay of proceedings at the Supreme Court, this court will wait until it is determined,” the judge held.
He explained that lower courts must await the Supreme Court’s judgment where a matter before the apex court would have a direct impact on proceedings before a lower court.
“To do otherwise will amount to an invitation to judicial anarchy,” the judge said.
He, consequently, adjourned the case till March 12, 2018 for mention.Punch