FirstNation Airways CEO, Kayode Odukoya

An Ikeja Special Offences Court has fixed Sept. 21 to rule on an application filed by Mr Kayode Odukoya, the Managing Director of First Nation Airways, seeking to quash a N1.7 billion theft charge proffered against him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Odukoya alongside First Nation Airways and Bellview Airline on a four-count charge bordering on forgery, use of false document, perjury and stealing.

The Friday’s proceedings, the defendants’ counsel, Mr Olawale Akoni (SAN), through a preliminary objection, prayed the court to striking out the charge for lack of jurisdiction.

The application was dated April 30 and supported by an 11-paragraph affidavit.

The defendants said in the objection that the charge, dated Dec. 11, 2017, contravened Sections 249, 252 and 77 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL), No. 10, 2011.

The defendants said: “Section 249 of the ACJL stipulates that prosecutorial authority before the High Court of Lagos State shall be exercised only in the name of `The State of Lagos’.

“The Information/Charge No. ID/239C/2012 filed against the applicants does not comply with Section 249 of the ACJL as stated above.”

Opposing the application, EFCC counsel, Mrs Zainab Ettu, argued that the anti-graft agency did not require a fiat from the attorney-general of Lagos State to prosecute the case.

She urged the court to dismiss the application on the grounds that it lacked merit and constituted abuse of court processes.

NAN reports that the EFCC claims that Odukoya and the other defendants committed the offences on March 21, 2013.

According to the commission, the defendants forged the Memorandum of Loss of Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy registered as No. 33 on Page 33, Volume 1011 at the Lagos State Land Registry, Alausa, Ikeja.

It said that the defendants intended that the document would be acted on as genuine.

According to the commission, the forged document is in respect of a property located at No. 29, Oduduwa St., Ikeja GRA.

It said that Odukoya 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 agency added that Odukoya stole and converted N1.7 billion belonging to Skye bank for his own use, on Oct. 7, 2016.

The alleged offences violate Sections 85, 86(1) 278(1) (b), 285, 361(1) (a) and (b), 363 and 364 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

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