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FG appeals verdict acquitting Airline of allegedly stealing passengers’ $1.630m


Emirates Airlines

Federal Government has appealed the decision of a Federal High Court, Lagos, which discharged and acquitted Emirates Airlines and 10 others of complicity in an alleged $1,630,000 theft.

Justice Mohammed Idris had in his judgment absolved the Airline of blame in the missing of four bags containing $1,630,000 belonging to a businessman, Prince Chu Ikem Orji.The appellant is asking the Court of Appeal not only to invalidate the acquittal of Emirates Airlines and 10 others but convict them for the missing cash.

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.

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, has approached the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, praying it to upturn the decision.

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.

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