The trial of the Managing Director of First Nation Airlines Mr. Kayode Odukoya finally began on Friday after series of setbacks.
He was arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court in Lagos.
The trial began with the first prosecution witness, a banker, Mr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ogu testifying that Odukoya the defendant who is the alter ego of First Nation Airlines and Bellview Airlines misrepresented the fact that made Skye Bank now Polaris Bank released loan facilities to the defendants with forged documents.
According to bank’s legal officer of the bank, the defendants within the period of 2007 to 2012 applied and obtained several loan facilities from Skye Bank which as at December 2016 accumulated to about 3.4 billion naira and 2.4 million Dollars.
In his evidence, Ogu explained that at the point of disbursement, Odukoya provided the bank with document he used as collateral securities with his institution.
He claimed he provided the bank with a document with particular reference to the property at No. 29 Oduduwa Way, G.R.A Lagos registered at Page 33 Volume 33 1011 at the Lagos State Registry but upon both internal and external investigations by the bank’s solicitors it was revealed that the said property he used for collateral had registration number with page 5 Volume 5 1011.
He testified,”My Lord, the banks internal investigation in respect of that property is Page 5 Volume 5 1011 which the first defendant at the material time had used the same property as collateral to Zenith Bank PLC.”
In his testimony, Ogu said his bank instructed its external solicitor to petition EFCC as regards the fraudulent act of the defendant and further wrote him referring to the converted sum which was earlier stated at about 3.4 billion naira and 2.4 million Dollars.
He narrated that the defendant responded claiming that the amount were not what was involved, stating that it was 1.7 billion naira he secured.
When being led in evidence further on why he made statement to EFCC naming Bellview and First Nation, the first prosecution witness of the the bank replied “Bellview Airline Limited was in operation and started banking with Skye Bank, PLC way back in 2006 and and upon being granted and withdrawal of their licence, it ceased to operate.
“First Nation Airlines came on board with the same alter ego of the first defendant. Upon the application, My Lord, to Skye Bank, there was a Memorandum of Understanding wherein First Nation Airlines took over and assumed the indebtedness of Bellview and both have the same alter ego of the first defendant.
“The same alter ego gave his personal guarantee to all these facilities. This is the connection between them.
He reiterated that the money that the defendant admitted has not been accrued to the bank.
He stated, “My Lord till date which is about 1.7 billion naira, according to the defendant.”
It would be recalled that the Managing Director, Mr. 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 2011Airlines
Cross-examination of the witness has been adjourned till June 24 and 25 respectively.
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