Alleged $8.4 million scam: Ajudua absent in court again, trial adjourned till May 28

Alleged $8.4 million scam: Ajudua absent in court again, trial adjourned till May 28

- Fred AJudua’s absence in court stalled the criminal trial he is facing for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army staff, Bamaiyi

- Ajudua reportedly defrauded Bamaiyi of $8.4million while they were both in custody in Kirikiri Prisons in 2004

- The trial judge adjourned the case until May 28 due to the absence of Ajudua who is allegedly receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment in an Indian hospital

The absence of Fred Ajudua, a lawyer turned businessman, at an Ikeja high court has stalled his criminal trial for allegedly defrauding retired Ishaya Bamaiyi, a former Chief of Army Staff of $8.4 million.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was scheduled to open its case against Ajudua at the court on Wednesday, May 23.

Bamaiyi, the first prosecution witness, had flown to Lagos from Abuja totestify against Ajudua.

During the proceedings, Olalekan Ojo, the defence counsel for Ajudua, had presented to the prosecution an application letter dated May 21 for an adjournment.

Ojo informed the court that the defendant was still at an India hospital to treat an undisclosed ailment.

“We have attached to the application the latest medical report. The defendant will be in India till the end of June and I have no other information to the contrary,” he said.

Seidu Atteh, the lead prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, objected to Ojo’s request for a new adjournment date, insisting that the trial should continue on the previously scheduled date of May 28.

The EFCC prosecutor also requested that Ajudua should pay Bamaiyi’s flight expenses.

“We will be asking for the previously adjourned date of May 28 for us to do our findings in this matter.

“We only became aware last night that the defendant will not be in court.

“The defendant should be made to pay the costs of the witness who flew in all the way from Abuja,” Atteh said.

The defence did not object to the prosecution’s request that Bamaiyi’s flight expenses should be paid.

“It is fair and just as we did not get across to him early enough.”

In her ruling, Justice Josephine Oyefeso ordered that Ajudua should bear the expenses of Bamaiyi and also acceded to the prosecution’s request and adjourned the case until May 28 for trial.

The News of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had on February 27 granted Ajudua permission to travel to India for medical treatment.

Ajudua allegedly defrauded the former Chief of Army Staff of $8.4million while they were both in custody in Kirikiri Prisons in 2004.

Bamaiyi was in custody for treason while Ajudua was in custody for fraud-related offences.

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Ajudua alongside some accomplices had allegedly approached Bamaiyi and convinced him that he could hire the legal services of Afe Babalola to help secure his freedom with Bamaiyi giving Ajudua $8.4 million as legal fees.

When the alleged fraud came to light, the law chambers of Afe Babalola and Co. issued a disclaimer disassociating itself from the case. previously reported that the EFCC announced that the alleged serial fraudster, Ajudua would face trial following his failed attempt to dismiss an $8.4m fraud case.

On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, Justice J.E. Oyefeso of the Lagos state high court, Ikeja, dismissed an application filed by Ajudua, to quash his trial.

The EFCC, thus, re-arraigned him on an amended 28-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $8.4m.

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