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Court remands MD of First Nation over N1.7bn ‘fraud’

Court remands MD of First Nation over N1.7bn ‘fraud’

Justice of the Ikeja special offences court, Mojisola Dada, has ordered the remand of Kayode Odukoya, managing director of First Nation Airlines, over the alleged theft of N1.7 billion.

Dada also ordered that the accused be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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,” Dada said.

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

During the proceedings, M. S Usman, the lead prosecutor for the EFCC, had asked the court to remand 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,” Usman said.

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

According to the EFCC, 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, so the document could be regarded as genuine.

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

He allegedly 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 on October 7, 2016, 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.

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

Following his absence in court on March 9, Dada had rescheduled April 9 for his arraignment. He was however brought to court earlier than scheduled by the EFCC.

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.

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