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Court rejects fraud kingpin application

03 March 2014, 17:43

Ikeja - Ikeja High Court has dismissed the application filed by alleged fraud kingpin, Fred Ajudua, against his $8.4 million
fraud trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ajudua is standing trial before the court for allegedly defrauding former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (retd.), of the money while they were both in prison.

Ajudua however filed a preliminary objection to his trail insisting the court had no jurisdiction to try him since he was charges under the repealed advance fee fraud act.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.

Ruling on the objection on Monday, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye held that EFCC was right in charging Ajudua under the repealed advance fee fraud and other related offenses act of 1995, since the act was in force when the alleged crime was committed.

The judge also held that the argument by the defendant that the victim of the alleged crime was tainted cannot be a ground for dismissing the charge.

Justice Ipaye further held that facts about the credibility of the victim was not before the court.

Ajudua formal arraignment could not however proceed as his lawyer requested for time to study the charge.

The Judge subsequently adjourned that case till March 11.

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.

The two have been named as Alumile Adedeji one Kenneth and Princess Hamabon William.

Ajudua, along with other suspects, 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 that the suspects had fraudulently collected the money from Bamaiyi in parts, falsely claiming that the payments represented the professional fees charged by a lawyer, Afe Babalola, to handle Bamaiyi's case in court and facilitate his release from prison.

- CAJ News

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