Ajudua Back In Prison Custody Over Bamaiyi's $5.9m
BEVERLY HILLS, March 11, (THEWILL) - There appears to be no respite for Lagos lawyer and socialite, Fred Ajudua, as he was arraigned on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.
Ishaya Bamaiyi, of $5.
9 million (about N1billion).
He has also been sent back to prison custody pending further hearing of the case.
Ajudua, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) , was arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of an Ikeja High Court.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had dragged him to court on a 14-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.
The judge had dismissed an application for stay of proceedings, filed by his lawyer, Mr.
Olalekan Ojo as he was advised to take his plea as requested by EFCC's counsel, Mr.
Olusesi had earlier told the court that Ajudua had conspired with others, still at large, to commit the offences between November, 2004 and June, 2005.
He listed other suspects, still at large as Alumile Adedeji, (a.
aAde Bendel), one Keneth and Princess Hamabon William.
Ajudua, according to Olusesi, defrauded Bamaiyi at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, where Ajudua and the other suspects were on remand for various crimes.
Olusesi said the defendants collected the money from Bamaiyi in instalments by falsely claiming that the payments represented the professional fees charged by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN).
He stated that Ajudua obtained the money under the pretext of facilitating Bamaiyi's release from prison.
The offences, according to the EFCC lawyer, contravened Sections 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Related Offences Act No.
13 of 1995 as amended by Act No.
62 of 1999.
The offence of obtaining money by false pretence attracts a minimum of seven years imprisonment if a defendant is convicted.
Ajudua, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and the judge ordered him to remain in prison custody as he adjourned the matter to April 8, for the hearing of pending applications.
It will be recalled that Ajudua and one Charles Orie are being prosecuted since 2003 by the EFCC for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen of $1.
69 million (about N270 million).