The Managing Director of Nigeria's Dana Air (9J, Lagos), Jacky Hathiramani, has been arraigned on charges of conspiracy, diversion, and felony in the Federal High Court in Abuja, the country’s newspapers report.

Federal High Court Justice Obiora Egwuatu, on June 30, ordered Hathiramani, the first defendant, and two unnamed co-accused in case number CR/101/21 to re-appear in court on October 13, 2021, in connection with the diversion of NGN450 million naira (USD1 million) from the sale of certain assets. Hathiramani is also the Managing Director of Dana Air's holding company, Dana Group, an industrial conglomerate in Nigeria.

This followed after the prosecution did not oppose a request by the defense for the postponement of the court hearing on the grounds that Hathiramani was currently out of the country for health reasons and therefore unable to appear in court on June 30. Defense counsel, Senior Advocate Sade Adedeji, said Hathiramani was also facing trial in another matter in Lagos state, which also had been adjourned as a result of his absence.

In an emailed response to a request for comment from ch-aviation, Hathiramani said: "It’s a misrepresentation and nothing to do with Dana Air. It’s an old issue already settled out of court with Ecobank." He gave no further insight.

As previously reported, Hathiramani in March 2021 confirmed to ch-aviation that he, along with six directors of the airline, had been called in for questioning by the Nigerian Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) in connection with an investigation into fraud, conversion, and embezzlement relating to an aircraft of the now-defunct Afrijet Airlines (6F, Lagos). Dana Air had leased the aircraft, an MD-82, 5N-BKI (msn 49483), from the state-owned Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). There had reportedly been disagreement between the companies over outstanding lease payments and block-hour charges.