Absence of a key witness in the trial of the Managing Director of First Nation airlines Kayode Odukoya suffered setback today.
This is the development on Tuesday before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences court when the case of alleged theft and forgery against him was called.
When the matter was to begin at 10:34a.m, Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, A.B.C Oziokor announced to the court, “This matter is for commencement of trial. I have two witnesses in court but I’m afraid we may not be able to proceed this morning. The two are bankers. Incidentally, the main representative of the bank that interfaced with the commission has suddenly left the bank and he is the one that made statement to us.
Adding further, “I didn’t know about this in time. I want this gentlemen to volunteer statements, so it doesn’t appear we are ambushing anybody. We are very sorry, My Lord.
He however asked for new dates in order to front load the defence appropriate documents.
Meanwhile, defence counsel, Wale Akoni disagreed with the prosecutor’s position as he argued that the defence is being put to so much hardship in a matter filed since 2017.
The court however adjourned further proceedings till March 19, 2019 for commencement of trial.
It would be recalled that Managing Director of First Nation airlines Odukoya was arraigned on March 16, 2018 for theft and forgery by EFCC.
First Nation Airlines and Bellview Airlines are joined in the suit as second and third defendants.
He was arraigned on four count charge of theft of 1.7 billion Naira and forgery of Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Lagos State Government.
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 and that the forged document was in respect of a property located at No. 29, Odufuwa Street, Ikeja, G.R.A Lagos.
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, Odukoya stole and dishonestly converted to his own use N1. 7 billion belonging to Skye Bank contrary to Sections 85, 86(1) 278(1)(b), 285, 361(1),(a) (b), 363 and 364(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
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