The federal government has urged the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal to nullify the judgement of Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos, which discharged and acquitted Emirates Airlines and 10 others over alleged conspiracy and stealing of $1.630 million belonging to a businessman, Prince Chu Ikem Orji.
The government in a notice of appeal, dated May 16 formulated 14 grounds of appeal on why the appellate court must invalidate the discharge and acquittal verdict granted in favour of Emirates Airlines and its co-accused.
The government had initiated a criminal charge against the Airlines before the Federal High Court following an alleged theft of four bags containing the $1.630 million.
Also charged before the court were Pathfinder International Limited, Nigeria Aviation Handling Co. Plc., Abayomi Adekanbi Abiola, Isiaka Adegoke Adedeji, Awonubi Abayomi and George Ikpekhia.
Their offence was “that you, Emirates Airlines, Pathfinders International Limited, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc., Abayomi Adekanbi Abiola, Isiaka Adegoke Adedeji, Awonubi Abayomi, George Ipekhia and others now at large on or about the 19th day of December, 2007 at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court conspired among yourselves to commit a felony to wit: stealing four bags with tag number EK 428682, EK 428583, EK 650162, EK 650161, tagged and collected by you from Prince Chu Ikem Orji, one of which contained the sum of $1,630,000 on the promise of keeping them intact for onward delivery to him at Guangzhou China and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 516 of the criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
But all were, however, discharged and acquitted on April 10 by Justice Idris, who described the conspiracy offence slammed on the defendants as a fairy tale, insisting that there was no evidence suggesting such collusion.
According to the judge, the totality of the evidence of the prosecution did not support the offence of conspiracy, saying that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against the defendants beyond reasonable doubt.
Dissatisfied, the federal government which prosecuted the accused persons before the lower court, last week headed for the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division.
In a notice of appeal, dated May 16, the federal government formulated 14 grounds of appeal on why the appellate court must invalidate the discharge and acquittal verdict granted in favour of Emirates Airlines.