Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Monday, December 16, 2013 postponed a fresh bid by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to arraign Mr. Fred Ajudua for an $8.39m scam. Ajudua will now be arraigned on February 12, 2004 on a fresh 13-count charge that borders on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.
EFCC counsel, Seidu Atteh, told the court that Ajudua, (alongside others who are still at large) defrauded a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ishaya Bamaiyi (retd) of about $8.395million while in detention at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Lagos between November 2004 and June 2005. Other suspects involved in the scam and who are on the run are Alumile Adedeji(a.k.a Ade Bendel), Princess Hamabon William and one Mr. Kenneth.
Ajudua and Charles Orie are already facing trial at the Lagos High Court for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen of $1.69million.
Atteh told the court that Ajudua and his accomplices, fraudulently collected the money from Bamaiyi in instalments, claiming that the payments represented the professional fees charged by Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, to handle Bamaiyi’s case in court and facilitate his release from prison.
Besides, Ajudua claimed that $1million out of the money collected from Bamaiyi would be used to assist Justice Olubunmi Oyewole offset the payment of the hospital bill of his father who, Ajudua falsely claimed, was on admission at the Saint Nicholas Hospital in Lagos, for an undisclosed ailment.
Justice Oyewole was presiding over Bamaiyi’s case in court at the time.
Ajudua’s counsel, Richard Ahoharuogba told the court that his client only became aware of the matter on Saturday and could not attend the court session because “he is still seriously ill”. He then sought an adjournment to enable Ajudua appear in court.
Justice Ipaye adjourned the matter till February 12, 2014 for arraignment and ordered that a warrant of production be served on the prison authority where Ajudua is being detained to enable him appear at the next adjourned date.