16th December, 2013
Henry Ojelu & Oluchi Chiowa
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has filed a fresh criminal charge against notorious fraudster Fred Ajudua for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, of about $8.395m.
Arraigned with him are Alumile Adedeji (a.k.a Ade Bendel), Mr Jonathan and Princess Hamabon and others now at large. They were alleged to have defrauded Bamaiyi at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, where he and the other fraud suspects were on remand for various crimes.
The EFCC in the fresh charge dated October 14, 2014 alleged that the accused committed the crime between November 2004 and June 2005.
The anti graft agency claimed that the suspects had fraudulently collected the money from Bamaiyi, falsely claiming that it was part of the professional fees charged by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) to facilitate his release from prison.
EFCC also alleged that Ajudua and others fraudulently claimed that $1m out of the total money collected from Bamaiyi was for financial assistance for the treatment of Justice Olubunmi Oyewole’s father.
The suspects were said to have claimed to Bamaiyi that Oyewole’s father was admitted at Saint Nicholas in Lagos and the $1m was meant to assist the judge in treating his father.
The offences of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretences were said to be contrary to Sections 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Related Offences Act. No. 13 of 1995 as ammended by Act No. 62 of 1999.
The arraignment earlier scheduled to come up today before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye could not proceed 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 was unable to attend court today because he was ill.
The lawyer then sought an adjournment to enable Ajudua to appear before the court.
Justice Ipaye then adjourned till 12 February 2014 for the arraignment.
Although the judge ordered that warrant of production should be served on the prison authority to produce Ajudua at the next hearing date, another judge had already granted Ajudua bail in another fraud charge.
Ajudua has been charged before Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of the Ikeja High Court for defrauding Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, two Dutch businessmen, of $1.69 million(N270 million). He is currently on bail.