A fraud case against First Nation Airways Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kayode Odukoya has been postponed to February 2023 following his brief reappearance in an Ikeja Special Offences Court on a seven-count charge involving fraud of NGN2.1 billion ($4.8 million).
Odukoya was re-arraigned by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on seven counts, including forgery, use of a false document, perjury, theft, and obtaining credit by fraud.Υ
The accused pleaded not guilty, whereafter the prosecution closed its case, having previously called five witnesses against him. Due to the additional charges, the defence asked to recall three prosecution witnesses for cross-examination.
The court granted the request, extended Odukoya’s bail, and adjourned the case to February 15, 2023.
As reported, on March 15, the EFCC had arraigned Odukoya before the same court on four charges of forgery, use of a false document, perjury, and theft of NGN1.7 billion (USD4.7 million).
Amongst others, he is accused of having secured NGN1.7 billion in loans from the now-defunct Skye Bank by using forged documents. Odukoya allegedly obtained various loan facilities from the bank between 2007 and 2012. After the loans were disbursed, investigations by the bank and the EFCC found that documents relating to properties put up for collateral for the loans turned out to be forged. Odukoya had also been the chief executive of Bellview Airlines (Lagos), which went out of business in 2010.
First Nation Airways Ltd. was a Nigerian airline with its headquarters in Lagos and base at Murtala Mohammed Airport.
The airline ceased operations in 2003 and was liquidated a year later. The Nigerian government later came to an agreement with Virgin Atlantic to found Virgin Nigeria, intended as a replacement.