EFCC to prosecute Ajudua for allegedly defrauding Bamaiyi of $8.4m

By The Citizen

A Lagos High Court, Ikeja, has fixed February 12, 2014 for the arraignment of Mr. Fred Ajudua, for fresh charges of defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd.), of about $8.395m.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in the fresh charges dated October 14, 2013, alleged that Ajudua, along with others still at large, had committed the crime between November 2004 and June 2005.

Ajudua and Charles Orie, are already being prosecuted (since 2003) by the EFCC for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of US$1.69m (about N270m).

There are 13 counts of conspiracy and fraud freshly instituted against Ajudua. He is the only defendant in the fresh charges as others who allegedly committed the offences along with him are said to be at large.

Other suspects who were said to be on the run are Alumile Adedeji (a.k.a Ade Bendel) and one Mr. Kenneth, one Mr. Jonathan  and Princess Hamabon William.

Ajudua along with other suspects were said to have defrauded Bamaiyi at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, where he and the other fraud suspects were on remand for various crimes.

EFCC claimed that the suspects had fraudulently collected the money from Bamaiyi in parts, falsely claiming that the payments represented the professional fees charged by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) to handle Bamaiyi's case in court and to facilitate his release from prison.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that Ajudua and others fraudulently claimed that $1m out of the total money collected from Bamaiyi was  financial assistance for the treatment of Justice Olubunmi Oyewole's father.

Justice Oyewole was then presiding over Bamaiyi's case in court.

The suspects were said to have claimed to Bamaiyi that Oyewole's father was admitted at Saint Nicholas Hospital in Lagos and the $1m was meant to assist the judge in treating his father.

The arraignment, earlier scheduled to come up before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, failed on Monday as Ajudua was absent from court.

The defendant's lawyer, Richard Ahoharuogha, told the court that his client only became aware of the matter on Saturday.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Seidu Atteh,  also said it only came to the commission's knowledge, that the matter had been assigned to a judge last Friday.

But Ahoharuogha said his client, who was still on remand at Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison for different alleged crime, was unable to attend court because he was still seriously ill. - Punch.