Ajudua To Remain In Prison As Court Adjourns Bail Hearing

•Fred Ajudua1

•Fred Ajudua: Remanded in Kirikiri Prison

Henry Ojelu

Alleged fraud kingpin, Fred Ajudua would have to remain in Kirikiri Prisons as a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja Thursday adjourned his bail application till 12 March, 2014.

Ajudua and  his alleged accomplice, Charles Orie, are facing trial for duping two Dutchmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of US$1.69m between July 1999 and September 2000.

They were first arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Olubunmi Oyewole in 2003.

They were however re-arraigned before Justice Kudirat Jose on a four-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining of money by false pretence and inducing payment by false pretence.

The transfer of the case to Justice Jose was necessitated by the withdrawal of the former trial judge, Justice Joseph Oyewole, from the case, due to the redeployment of High Court judges.

The matter could not proceed as scheduled Thursday as most court cases were adjourned due to power outage.

The trial judge, Justice Jose had to adjourned after waiting endlessly for power to be restored to the courtroom.

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At the last adjourned date, Ajudua’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo, asked the court to allow his client to perfect the extant bail granted him in September, 2013 on health grounds by Justice Ganiyu Safari, a vacation judge.

Counsel to the second defendant Orie, Ndubuisi Esekea, also prayed the court to allow his client to continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted him.

The prosecution counsel, Olumuyiwa Balogun who did not object to the second defendant’s application, however opposed the oral plea made by Ojo on behalf of Ajudua.

Balogun said while he would concede that the court has the discretionary power to grant Ajudua bail, he ought to bring a fresh application before the court.

He argued that Justice Jose was not bound by the decision of the judge that previously granted the first defendant bail.

Justice Jose in her ruling held that both defendants should file fresh applications for bail and fixed the hearing of the bail application for today.

The judge also fixed the trial for April 27.