$ 5.9 million Scam: Ajudua Knows Fate on Tuesday

An Ikeja High Court on Friday fixed May 13 for ruling on a bail application filed by embattled lawyer and suspected 419 kingpin, Fred Ajudua.


After hearing arguments from Mr Seidu Atteh, the counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Mr Olalekan Ojo, Ajudua’s counsel, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye fixed the date for the ruling.


Ajudua is being prosecuted for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi of about $5.9m (about N1bn) and he is facing 14 counts bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences.


Ojo, who urged the court to grant Ajudua bail on liberal terms, argued that there was overwhelming medical evidence before the court he was suffering from a life-threatening ailment.


He said, “The defendant (Ajudua) is a kidney patient and his only surviving kidney is about to collapse.


“The medical facility at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, where his health is seriously failing, cannot adequately meet his medical needs.”


Ojo tendered a medical report dated Aug. 12, 2013, which was issued by Dr Adebisi Ogunjimi of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital to support his submissions.


He said the defendant was ready to face trial contrary to the claim by the EFCC that he absconded to India after he was granted bail on medical grounds in another criminal case.


He said, “The defendant voluntarily came back to Nigeria even when he knew that his bail had been revoked.


“The voluntary submission of the defendant to the prosecuting authorities and the court constitutes an exceptional circumstance which should be taken into judicial notice by the court.”


Responding, Atteh argued that there was likelihood that Ajudua would jump bail if the application was granted.


Atteh said that Ajudua absconded in 2005, after he was granted bail by Justice Joseph Oyewole, also of an Ikeja High Court.


Meanwhile, the court has dismissed another application by Ajudua seeking the inclusion of his extra-judicial statement in the proof of evidence.


In a short ruling, Ipaye held that the Ajudua refused to make the same statement after three attempts by the EFCC before the case was charged to court.


The judge said Ajudua was at liberty to take the stand and give his own oral evidence during the trial.

Author: NewsAdmin

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