Alleged $5.9m fraud: Ajudua remanded in prison
A Lagos socialite, Fred Ajudua, was on Tuesday docked for allegedly
defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi,
of $5.9 million (about one billion naira).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ajudua was arraigned before
Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of an Ikeja High Court.
He was charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) on a 14-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money by false
Prior to his arraignment, the judge dismissed an application for stay of
proceedings, filed by Ajudua's Counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo.
Ajudua 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,
He named other suspects, still at large as Alumile Adedeji, (a.k.a Ade
Bendel), one Keneth and Princess Hamabon William.
Olusesi said that Ajudua defrauded Bamaiyi at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison,
where Ajudua and the other suspects were on remand for various crimes.
The counsel said that the defendant collected the money from Bamaiyi in
instalments by falsely claiming that the payments represented the
professional fees charged by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN).
He said that Ajudua obtained the money under the pretext of facilitating
Bamaiyi's release from prison.
Olusesi said that the offences 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.
The judge ordered him to remain in prison custody and adjourned the matter
to April 8, for the hearing of pending applications.
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).