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    Monday, March 31, 2014

    $1.69m fraud: Court dismisses Ajudua's bail application

    A Lagos High Court, Ikeja has again denied a suspected advance fee fraud kingpin, Mr. Fred Ajudua, bail in an alleged $1.69m fraud case.

    It was Ajudua’s fifth bail application since the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission instituted the charges against him in 2003.

    Justice Kudirat Jose, before whom the defendant was on February 5, 2014, re-arraigned along with his co-accused, Charles Orie, ruled on Wednesday that the fresh bail application lacked merit.

    The court had earlier allowed Orie to continue enjoying the bail earlier granted him by the former trial judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole.

    Ajudua, who was ordered to remain in detention after the re-arraignment, had, through his lawyer, Chief Charles Edosomwan (SAN), filed his fresh bail application on the grounds of “serious” ill health.

    Justice Jose in refusing the application on Wednesday, cited Ajudua’s antecedents of tampering with evidence and absconding from trial when he was initially granted bail.

    Though, the judge in her ruling, admitted that he was truly unhealthy, but held that the medical reports tendered by him did not show his health conditions could not from prison.

    The judge said, “These reports show that the applicant (Ajudua) is not a very healthy man and that he needs medical attention.

    “However, the reports have not shown that he cannot be treated while still in prison.”

    The judge said the medical reports issued by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, showed that Ajudua was suffering from complicated ailments as a result of having a solitary kidney.

    She added that the accused failed to convince the court that he would not abscond or interfere with witnesses if the bail was granted.

    She said, “He has not shown to the court why he was not able to come to his trial between 2008 and 2013.

    “In his counter-affidavit, the applicant did not respond to the claims that he had tampered with evidence. His lack of response means an admission of guilt.”

    Ajudua and Orie were first arraigned before Justice Oyewole for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen – Mr. Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen – of about $1.69m between July 1999 and September 2000.

    The matter was re-assigned to Justice Jose and the matter started afresh after Justice Oyewole withdrew from the case. Oyewole was recently elevated to the Court of Appeal.

    Ajudua is also on detention in a separate case pending before another Lagos High Court in Ikeja for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (retd.), about $5.9m between November 2004 and June 2005.

    The matter was adjourned till April 28 for trial

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