6th December, 2018
A German national, Zaid Abu Zalaf standing as a witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the trial of a Nigerian fraudster has told a Lagos High Court that he spoke with the serial fraudster Fred Ajudua before embarking on a business trip where he was conned $1.046 in Nigeria sometimes in 1993.
The witness under cross examination by Olalekan Ojo, SAN the lawyer to the defendant said after two Germans, one Chehad and Dizenko introduced him to contract marked NNPC/AA/80241/79, he had telephone conversation with the defendant which thereafter propelled his business trip to Nigeria.
Ajudua, alongside Joseph Ochunor, are facing a 12 – count charge bordering on fraud and conspiracy before a Lagos Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada.
He insisted that if he did not speak to Ajudua he would not have come to Nigeria as at the time he came in 1993.
“I don’t know whether Mr. Chehad and Dizeko are businessmen when I met them in Germany. It was Chehad and Dizeko that contacted me of the business proposal in Germany.
“They contacted me of the oil contract. I held the meeting with them in the house I used to leave. It was inside the meeting that they suggested the contract. They said they don’t have the facility and that I could take advantage of that because I have the facility.
“They said the money involved was $28,000,000.00 million and the money will be transfer to my company account. When you get the contract, you get the job done and you get the money transferred. I spoke to the defendant on phone. He was aware that I was coming. If I did not speak to him on the phone how did he knows that I was coming?, ” the witness said.
He said he was a young man when he was conned 25 years ago as he was learning business then.
He said he was not aware of currency regulation law both at the point of departure in Germany and point of entry in Nigeria when he came in 1993.
Zalaf said he did not bring any cash to Nigeria when he came for the first time in 1993, but maintained that he brought a cash of $225,000 to Nigeria on his second trip.
“in 1993, I was learning in terms of documentation but now I know importance of documentation. We are expecting to get the contract and get money for the spare parts. When we get the job done we will get the balance,” Zalaf said.
He also said he met Ajudua and his business associate, Joseph Ochunor (now at large) in the defendant’s office, and gave account details of where the money will be paid to.
“In his office, he introduced me to Joseph Ochunor his business associate who gave details of the account to be transferred money to,” the witness maintained.
Justice Dada has adjourned the case to February 11 and 12, 2019.for continuation of trial.