A former security guard with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, NAHco, David Akinniran, who allegedly absconded with his employer’s 230,000 dollars (N8.3 million), on Monday appeared before an Igbosere High Court in Lagos.
Mr Akinniran, 40, is standing trial on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing and receiving property suspected to be stolen.
The defendant and his accomplices, who are still at large, are alleged to have stolen at different times 160,000 dollars, 20,000 dollars and 50,000 dollars respectively from the complainant, Rahman Adeshola.
The offences were committed sometime in January 2016 at the company’s headquarters, NAHCO House at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja.
Police Prosecutor, Henry Obiazi told the court said the money belonged to two Nigerian businessmen — Uchenna Okafor and Okwudili Onwuka — who kept it in Adeshola’s custody for safekeeping.
According to Obazi, the theft was discovered when the owners arrived at the airport to board a flight to China and requested for the money, which they intended to use to fund their import business.
The defendant and his accomplices absconded as soon as the theft was discovered but was arrested after eight months of manhunt by the police, he said.
The offences contravened Sections 280 (1), (a), (b), 328 (1),(2), (a) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Mr Akinniran, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and his lawyer, Grace Adenubi, urged the court to grant the defendant bail and assured the court that Akinniran would be available for trial.
But the prosecutor opposed her application for bail and urged the court to either remand the defendant in prison pending trial or impose strict bail terms that would ensure his appearance for trial.
Justice Agnes Nicole-Clay adjourned until February 22 for ruling on the bail application.