Thursday, April 25, 2024

Court Remands MD Of First Nation Airways Over Alleged N1.7 Billion Fraud

An Ikeja Special Offences Court has ordered the remand of Kayode Odukoya, Managing Director of First Nation Airlines over alleged theft of N1.7 billion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Mojisola Dada ordered that the accused be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr. Odukoya had pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge of forgery, use of false document, perjury and stealing filed against him by the anti-graft commission.

First Nation and Bellview Airlines are joined in the suit as second and third defendants.

“This case is adjourned till March 26, for the hearing of the bail application,” Justice Dada said.

Following the order, Mr. Odukoya was led away from the court room by two uniformed officials of the EFCC.

Earlier during proceedings after Mr. Odukoya had taken his plea, M. S Usman, the lead prosecutor for the EFCC, had asked the court to remand Mr. Odukoya.

“My Lord, I urge the court to remand the defendant pending the trial date.

“On three occasions prior to today’s proceedings, the defendant had frustrated his arraignment,” Mr. Usman said.

However, John Odugbela, counsel to Mr. Odukoya, informed the court that he had filed an application for the bail of his client, which had been served on the prosecution.

“The defendant will not jump bail,” Mr. Odugbela added.

NAN reports that according to the EFCC, Mr. Odukoya committed the offences of forgery, use of false document and perjury on March 21, 2013.

The EFCC alleged that the accused forged the Memorandum of Loss of Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy registered as No. 33 at page 33 volume 1011 at the Lagos State Land Registry, Alausa, Lagos, in order that the document be acted upon as genuine.

The forged document was in respect of a property located at No. 29, Oduduwa St., Ikeja GRA, Lagos.

Mr. Odukoya is alleged by the EFCC to have used the false document, and also gave false information on oath, concerning the loss of the certificate of occupancy at the Lagos State Land Registry.

The anti-graft commission also said that on Oct. 7, 2016, Mr. Odukoya stole and dishonestly converted to his own use N1.7 billion belonging to Skye Bank.

The offences violate Sections 85, 86(1) 278(1)(b), 285, 361(1),(a) (b), 363 and 364(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

Mr. Odukoya and his legal team had shunned his arraignment in court on three prior occasions.

Following Mr. Odukoya’s absence in court on March 9, Justice Dada had rescheduled April 9, for his arraignment.

He was however brought to court earlier than scheduled by the EFCC.

Mr. Odukoya was detained when he had honoured an invitation to the office of the anti-graft commission on March 13, and arraigned by the EFCC on Friday. (NAN)

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