Lagos - Alleged fraud kingpin, Fred Ajudua, has failed in another bid to stall his arraignment when he appeared before the Lagos High Court to face fraud charges.
He is accused of defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, of more than US$8 million between November 2004 and June 2005 while in prison.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed the charge earlier this year but the trial could not commence following Ajudua application which challenged the competence of the charge.
Ajudua, who is also facing similar fraud trial in another court, had through a preliminary objection insisted that the court had no jurisdiction to try him since he was charges under the repealed Advance Fee Fraud Act.
He also argued that Bamaiyi should stand trial along with him for admitting in his statement to the EFCC that he attempted to bribe a sitting judge.
The trial judge however dismissed the application last week and fixed today for arraignment.
Before he was finally docked on Tuesday, Ajudua made further attempt to quash his arraignment insisting that he had filed an application before the Court of Appeal challenging the earlier ruling of the court.
Justice Ipaye again overruled his objection insisting that his appeal could automatically stall his trial further so when the appeal had not been properly entered at the Court of Appeal.
She instructed the court registrar to read the charges to the defendant.
In the 14 count charge, the EFCC alleged that Ajudua, along with others still at large defrauded Gen. Bamaiyi of $8.387 million while in prison.
Ajudua is the only defendant in the fresh charges as others who allegedly committed the offences along with him are said to be at large. Other suspects are Alumile Adedeji, one Kenneth and Princess Hamabon William.
They were said to have defrauded Bamaiyi at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, where he and the other fraud suspects were on remand for various crimes.
EFCC claimed the suspects had fraudulently collected the money from Bamaiyi in parts, falsely claiming that the payments represented the professional fees charged by a lawyer to handle Bamaiyi’s case in court and to facilitate his release from prison.
Justice Ipaye subsequently adjourned the matter until April 8 for hearing of pending applications.
– CAJ News
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