November 29, 2023

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N1.7bn suit against First Nation Airways, Kayode Odukoya, ruling on 22nd October

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The Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, and Presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada, has adjourned till 22nd October 2021, for ruling on the no-case submission filed by counsel to Mr Kayode Odukoya, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, First Nation Airways Limited, who is being prosecuted for alleged N1.7billion fraud.

Standing trial are Mr Kayode Odukoya as an entity, alongside First Nation Airways Limited and Bellview Airlines Limited, on a seven-count charge bordering on forgery, use of false documents, perjury, stealing and obtaining credit by fraud contrary to sections 85(1), 86(1), 278(1)&(b), 285(1), 313(1)(a) &(b),361(1)(a)& (b),363 (1) and 364(1) of the criminal law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011.

According to the Prosecuting Counsel, A.B.C. Ozioko, One of the counts reads inter alia: “Kayode Odukoya and First Nation Airways, on or about the 29th day of August 2013, in Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, by means of fraud, obtained the credit of N307,268,406.43 for yourselves from Skye Bank Plc (Now Polaris Bank Ltd) and made the bank to incur liability by presenting a Memorandum of Loss at 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.”

Mr Kayode Odukoya, Managing Director/CEO, First Nation Airways

Another count reads thus: “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 to 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.”

At the resumed sitting, Monday 2nd August 2021, the defence counsel to the accused, Edoka Onyeke, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges and adopted the written address for his client. While adopting the address, Onyeke said: “We urge this Honourable Court to uphold the same and dismiss the seven-count charge and to discharge the defendant.”

On his part, the prosecuting counsel, A.B.C. Ozioko, adopted the written address of the prosecution dated 8th July 2021. While also adopting his address, he argued that the no-case submission of the defence “is not whether the defendant is guilty or innocent.”

A.B.C. Ozioko further argued that there was “legally admissible evidence against the defendant to warrant him to enter his defence and to explain his role in the charge.”

Ozioko enthused that, “It is not just about loans, but loans obtained using forged documents and has a criminal origin,”.

After carefully listening to the arguments of both counsels, Justice Mojisola Dada, adjourned for ruling on the matter till 22nd October 2021.

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