EFCC Re-Arraigns Fred Ajudua On 28-Count Charge

Fred Ajudua, EFCCThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has re-arraigned alleged fraudster, Fred Ajudua, before Justice Kudirat Jose of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on a 28-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.

The anti-graft re-arraigned him over an allegation that he defrauded former Chief of Army Staff Lt. Col. Ishaya Bamaiyi in 2004 while they were at both remanded at the Kirikiri Prisons.

The offense is contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 13 of 1995 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.

When the charges were read to him, the defendant pleaded “not guilty” and the counsel to the EFCC, Saidu Ateh proceeded to ask the court for a trial date.

But the counsel to the defendant, Norrison Quakers (SAN) urged Justice Jose to be bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal granting the defendant bail.

Justice Jose asked the counsel to file a new application for bail to be heard on the next adjourned date.

The matter was adjourned to September 15, 2016 for trial.

The matter was initially before Justice Atinuke Ipaye and was later transferred to Justice Kudirat Jose after Ajudua’s co-defendant, the former registrar of the court, Olorunke Idowu Rosulu opted for separate trial.

Rosulu had since been jailed for 10 years over the allegations.

$8.4m Fraud: Appeal Court Grants Ajudua Bail

Fred Ajudua.The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has set aside the ruling of Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja and granted a former Lagos socialite, Fred Ajudua bail to seek medical treatment abroad.

Justice Ipaye had refused Ajudua’s bail application in a suit filed against Ajudua by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for allegedly defrauding former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd.) of about $8.4 million.

Dissatisfied, Ajudua through his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, appealed against the ruling and urged the appellate court to set it aside.

The appellate court in a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Rita Pemu held that Ajudua could only stand trial if he is alive.

Justice Pemu held that the charge levelled against Ajudua by the EFCC does not attract capital punishment hence its a bailable offence.

The court observed from the medical report presented at the lower court that Ajudua had been a patient at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH for kidney related illness as far back as 1987.

“He was already a sick man at the time the charge was filed against him. The lower court turned a blind eye to the plight of the appellant (Ajudua).

“A man with just one kidney is a walking carcass. Although his reputation is found wanting, he has not been convicted. The court ought to show mercy as a result of his health challenges”, Justice Pemu held.

On the claim by the EFCC that Ajudua will interfere with witnesses, Justice Pemu held that the anti-graft agency failed to show calculated attempt made by appellant to do so.

Consequently, the court granted Ajudua bail in the sum of 10 million Naira with two sureties in like sum.

The sureties must have property worth 50 million Naira in Lagos.

Ajudua is also to sign an undertaking that he would remain in Nigeria throughout his trial unless there was need for him to travel abroad for treatment.

The judgement was unanimously adopted by two other members of the panel namely; Justice CE Iyizoba and Justice JY Tukur respectively.

However, the appellate court dismissed another appeal by Ajudua which borders on the refusal of the lower court to allow him make extra-judicial statement in response to the allegations levelled against him.

Justice Pemu upheld the decision of the lower court on the ground that Ajudua had earlier been given the opportunity to make statements but he chose not to do so.

“It’s appellant’s constitutional right but he chose to waive it. The court cannot teach the Police how to carry out its investigation. The court cannot also force defendant to make statement” Justice Pemu added.

Ajudua had earlier been freed  by a Lagos High Court  on charges brought against him by the EFCC of defrauding two Dutch businessmen of $1.69 million.