N2.1bn fraud: EFCC re-arraigns Odukoya, First Nations Airways, Bellview

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday re-arraigned the Chief Executive Officer of First Nations Airways Limited, Kayode Odukoya, for an alleged N2.1bn fraud.

Odukoya’s re-arraignment before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja followed an amendment to the charges against him, First Nations Airways Limited, and Bellview Airlines Limited.

The amended seven counts against the three defendants border on forgery of a Memorandum of Loss of Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy, uttering of forged documents, perjury, and dishonest conversion of N2.1bn belonging to Polaris Bank (formerly Skye Bank).

The defendants were first arraigned in March 2018 on four counts, in which the EFCC stated that they fraudulently converted N1.7bn belonging to the bank.

In the amended charge sheet, the EFCC increased the money from N1.7bn to N2.1bn.

When the amended counts were read to them on Monday, the defendants pleaded not guilty as before.

Justice Dada ruled that Odukoya would continue to enjoy the N10m bail granted him in 2018, following a prayer to that effect by the defence counsel, Edoka Onyeke.

The prosecution counsel for the EFCC, Nnaemeka Omenwa, told the court that he would be closing his case for the defence to open theirs.

But the defence counsel made an application for the recall of the second prosecution witness, a Polaris Bank official, as well as the investigating officer from the EFCC in view of the amendments to the charges.

After granting the application, Justice Dada adjourned the case till February 15 to 18, 2021.

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