The Chief Executive Officer of Dana Group of Companies, Hathiramani Jacky Ranesh, is facing fraud charges in Nigeria.
Ranesh, Dana Group of Companies and Dana Nigeria Limited are charged with conspiracy, diversion and felony.
The Federal Government will arraign him on October 13 at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu fixed the date after Ranesh’s lawyer, Ade Adedeji told the court that the prosecution was aware of his client’s absence.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said Ramesh is currently out of the country on health grounds. The co-defendants were in court.
The arraignment of Ramesh and the two companies, in suit number CR/101/21, was in the cause list for Wednesday’s proceeding. They were accused of diverting funds from the sale of some assets to the tune of N450 million.
NAN reports that the airline chief is the first defendant in the suit.
Adedeji stated that the prosecution knew Ramesh would not be able to take his plea.
The SAN said another High Court in Lagos, where the defendant is facing a trial in another matter, had adjourned due to his trip.
He explained that the defence accepted the service of arraignment without knowing that the date was close.
We have an option not to accept this but as officers in the temple of justice, we felt we are under obligation to accept on his (Ramesh’s) behalf.
“But to the knowledge of counsel to the prosecution, the principal defendant is not in the country which was made known to the prosecution,” he said.
Adedeji then appealed to the judge for an adjournment.
Wilson Michelangelo, a counsel from the Attorney General’s office, did not oppose the request.