First Nation Airways MD charged with N1.7bn theft, remanded in custody

*Odukoya (middle) with EFCC officials

Justice Mojisola Dada of an Ikeja Special Offences Court has ordered the remand of the managing director of First Nation Airways, Mr. Kayode Odukoya, over an alleged theft of N1. 7 billion.

However, rather than sending him to the prison custody, Justice Dada ordered him to be remanded at the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The judge gave the remand order moment he was arraigned on a four-count charge of forgery, use of false document, perjury and stealing pressed against him by the EFCC.

Joined as defendants in the stealing case are the First Nation and Bellview Airlines.

The defendant allegedly forged the Memorandum of Loss of Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy in respect of a property located in Lagos, so it could be acted upon as genuine.

One of the counts reads:

“That you, Kayode Odukoya, on or about the 21st day of March, 2013 in Lagos within the Lagos Judicial Division knowingly forged the Memorandum of Loss of Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy Registered as No. 33 at page 33 in Volume 1011 at the Lagos State Registry, Alausa, Ikeja in respect of property being and situated at No. 29 Oduduwa Street, Ikeja GRA Lagos State with intent that the document may in any way be used or acted on as genuine to the prejudice of another.”

Another charge reads: “That you, Kayode Odukoya, First Nation Airways Limited and Bellview Airlines Limited, on or about the 7th day of October, 2016 in Lagos within the Lagos Judicial Division dishonestly converted for your own use the sum of N1, 742, 994, 962.04 (One Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty-one Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty-two Naira, Four Kobo) property of Skye Bank Plc.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

In view of that, the prosecution counsel, Zainab Ettu, asked the court for a trial date and to remand the defendant in prison custody so as to compel his appearance in court.

“The defendant jumped the administrative bail given to him by the EFCC and refused to show up for his arraignment scheduled for March 9, 2018 before this court.

“He was apprehended by the operatives of the Commission to ensure his arraignment today,” Zainab Ettu said.

Responding, Odukoya’s counsel, Mr. John Odubela, had told the court that the he had a bail application which had been served on the prosecution.

“The defendant will not jump bail; he is well known in the business sector in the country,” he added.

After listening to both parties, Justice Dada adjourned the case to March 26, 2018 for hearing of the bail application and April 7, 8 and 9, 2018 for commencement of trial.










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