Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has dismissed the no- case submission of Kayode Odukoya, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Nation Airways Limited.
Odukoya, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an alleged N1.7bn fraud, was further ordered by the judge to open his defence on January 17, 2022.
TheFact Nigeria reports that Odukoya is standing trial alongside First Nation Airways Limited and Bellview Airlines Limited, on a seven-count charge bordering on forgery, use of false document, 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 one of the counts, Kayode Odukoya and First Nation Airways, on the 29th day of August, 2013 in Lagos, obtained the credit of N307,268,406.43, for themselves from Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank Ltd) by means of fraud, and made the bank to incur liability by presenting a Memorandum of Loss at Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy.
It was also gathered from another count that Kayode Odukoya, First Nation Airways Ltd, and Bellview Airlines Limited, dishonestly converted to their own use, the sum of N1,741,994,962.04 (One Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty-one Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty-two Naira, Four Kobo), being the property of Skye Bank Plc.
Odukoya pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
The prosecution had closed its case on November 30, 2020, after calling five witnesses and tendering several documents to prove its case.
Rather than open his defence, however, the defendant, through his counsel, Edoka Onyeke, had filed a no-case submission.
Onyeke had urged the Court to “dismiss the seven-count charge and to discharge the defendant”, while the prosecuting counsel, A.B.C. Ozioko, had 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.”
Delivering ruling, Justice Dada dismissed the no-case submission and ordered the defendant to open his case on January 17 and 18, 2022.