Friday, 11 October 2013

Fred Ajudua’s $1.69m Fraud: Court Adjourns Again As Prosecutor Denies Ajudua’s “Agreement” With EFCC

According to Sahara Reporters Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of the Igbosere High Court in Lagos has again adjourned a $1.69 million fraud against Fred Ajudua. At today’s court session, Justice Oyewole adjourned the case to November 6, 2013. The adjournment came amid controversial claims by Mr. Ajudua’s lawyer, Charles Edosomwan, that his client was involved in ‘ongoing talks’ with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

On October 2, Mr. Edosomwan had told Justice Oyewole that the accused, Mr. Ajudua, had opened an “ongoing talk” with the EFCC. He had also stated that Mr. Ajudua’s health condition had “nose dived.” The defense lawyer also told the court that the prosecution had been served with necessary documents regarding Mr. Ajudua’s said consultation with EFCC, but that he was not able to confirm whether the prosecutors had formally received the documents as of October 2.
Counsel for the EFCC as well as the defense counsel then agreed to an adjournment, confirming to the judge that October 10 was suitable for both parties and was enough time supposedly to resolve the “ongoing talks”.

But when the trial resumed today, the counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Olumuyiwa Balogun, made a stunning statement when he denied knowledge of any consultation between the accused and the EFCC. He told Justice Oyewole that the commission had not apprised him of any “ongoing talks” with the accused. Mr. Balogun specifically stated that the EFCC had not informed him of any consultation between it and the defendant.
Our correspondent in court reported that Mr. Ajudua’s lawyer was not able to disclose what the purported consultation or “ongoing talk” with EFCC was about.
Justice Oyewole stated that he, too, was not privy to the said discussion between the anti-corruption agency and the defendant.
Mr. Ajudua has been standing a protracted trial for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, to the tune of $1.69 million. Mr. Ajudua, a lawyer-turned shady businessman, had obtained a controversial bail from a vacation judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari. The prosecution had stoutly opposed bail for Mr. Ajudua, but Justice Safari ruled that he was granting it on alleged grounds of the suspect’s critical health. EFCC lawyers had argued that the bail was unwarranted, since Mr. Ajudua had access to medical personnel and facilities when he was in prison custody.
Justice Oyewole adjourned the case to November 6, 2013 for the hearing of several applications in the fraud case.

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