11th June, 2013
A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja Tuesday ordered that notorious fraudster Fred Ajudua be remanded in Kirikiri Prisons over a fraud charge filed against him since 2003.
Fred Ajudua has been standing trial before the court over allegations of fraud to the tune of over $1.5 billion but has refused to attend the trial since four years ago after being granted bail by the trial judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole.
The judge issued a warrant for his arrest since then but police authorities were unable to produce him in court, prompting unending adjournments in the matter.
Fred Ajudua appeared in court Tuesday with a request for bail since the court had revoked the earlier one he was granted.
Justice Oyewole, however, turned down the hearing of the request and instead made an order that he should be remanded in prison pending the hearing of the bail application.
Making the order, the judge said: “The first defendant ceased to be on bail since December 15, 2006 when his bail was revoked. The case has been held up as the agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria have been unable to execute the warrant of arrest issued on January 24, 2005.
“The first defendant is hereby ordered to be remanded in prison. The Superintendent of Prison shall ensure that the accused is given unrestricted access to medical treatment including being taken to LUTH as an out patient when occasions demand.”
The matter was subsequently adjourned till 24 June, 2013 for the hearing of the bail application.
Ajudua’s name is frequently linked with advance-fee fraud. Ajudua views himself as a sort of folk hero or Robin Hood, getting money out of gullible westerners in repayment for colonial mistreatment.
Ajudua studied law and graduated from the University of Benin, Edo State.
In October 2003, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said that Ajudua had twelve cases pending against him, including an advance fee fraud of 1.6 million Euros and another of $1.5 million, both committed in 2001. He was accused of collecting money from Nelson Allen, a Canadian who lost $250,000. A German was said to have lost $350,000 to him. He was also said to have tricked more than $1.69million out of two Dutch nationals between 1999 and 2000.
In year 2000 he was reported as having served five years of prison at Kirikiri and Agodi.
On 26 July, 2005 the German woman, Frieda Springer-Beck, agreed to an out-of-court settlement after a long series of inconclusive court appearances dating back to 1993.
Ajudua was granted bail to seek medical attention in India on 3 February 2005. Hearing that he was back in Nigeria, the EFCC attempted to arrest him on 20 March, 2007 at a beer parlour in Ibusa. The move was thwarted by armed thugs.
In 2007, the Administrative Panel of Inquiry on Reports of Alleged Corrupt Practices recommended that Ajudua’s wife should not run for political office on the basis of an EFCC report that she had been involved in a conspiracy to obtain $7.85m and N3 million under false pretence and had used money from fraudsters to campaign for election, although the panel noted that there was no direct evidence linking her to the activities of her husband.