The arraignment of Kayode Odukoya, the Managing Director of FirstNation Airlines, for alleged theft of N1.7 billion, was stalled on Friday following his absence at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that lawyers of FirstNation boss were also not present in court.
This is the third time Mr. Odukoya will be absent in court for his arraignment.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had slammed a four-count charge of forgery, use of false documents, perjury and stealing on Mr. Odukoya.
FirstNation and Bellview Airlines are joined in the suit as second and third defendants respectively.
Expressing his displeasure at the development, M.S. Usman, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, told the court the anti-graft agency would ensure Mr. Odukoya’s presence in court for his trial.
“We will be requesting for a short adjournment for this arraignment, the defendants gave us their word that they would be in court.
“It seems the EFCC has to take some necessary actions against them, we gave them an olive branch for them to avail themselves in court for this arraignment and they did not fulfil their side of the bargain.
“We initially did not want to keep them in our custody but at the moment, we have no choice but to now keep them in our custody for the purpose of the arraignment,” Mr. Usman said.
According to the charge sheet, Mr. Odukoya committed the offences of forgery, use of false document and perjury on March 21, 2013.
The EFCC alleged that the CEO of the airlines 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 October 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.
Justice Mojisola Dada has fixed April 9 for arraignment. (NAN)
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...