A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Wednesday, fixed April 28 and 29 for the trial of Fred Ajudua, an alleged serial fraudster.
The judge, Justice Kudirat Jose also fixed the hearing of the bail application filed by the defendants for February 20.
Ajudua and Charles Orie, are facing trial for defrauding Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, two European businessmen, of $1.69 million (N287 million).
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC accused Ajudua, Orie, Rasheed Adekunle, Abisola Fawehinmi, and Stephen Joiner (the last three are still at large) of committing the crime between 1999 and 2000.
Ajudua, who is also known as Isa Audu, and the others allegedly obtained the money from the businessmen as sundry payment to various government officials for payment of an $18 million contract No. FMA/EED/3040/S92, according to the EFCC.
When the four-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence was read to the defendants, both pleaded not guilty.
It will be recalled that the case first started when they were arraigned on 24th July, 2003, before Joseph Olubunmi Oyewole.
The trial was however stalled by Ajudua’s disappearance during trial in 2007 when he was granted bail to get medical attention for a certain ailment abroad. The trial resumed last year just as a bench warrant was to be issued against him.
Justice Oyewole had refused to free him on bail after his reappearance, a move that made Ajudua’s counsels approach another judge, Ganiyu Safari, who granted his bail request.
On Wednesday, Olalekan Ojo, Mr. Ajudua’s lawyer, told the judge that his client had suffered a “barrage of life-threatening illnesses since last year.