Lagos court remands Ajudua in prison


fred_ajudua3ALLEGED fraudster, Fred Ajudua, was on Tuesday remanded in prison custody by Justice Joseph Oyewole of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, seven years after absconding from trial.

The order that Ajudua should appear before the court was made in 2006.

Justice Oyewole ordered that he should remain in custody till June 24 when his bail application would be ripe for hearing.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, in 2003, arraigned Ajudua and his co-accused, Charles Hijiudu, for allegedly defrauding two foreigners, Mr. Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of about $1.69 million between July, 1999 and September 2000.

Justice Oyewole had in January, 2006 issued a bench warrant ordering the police authority to apprehend the accused and bring him to court, after refusal to obey the order of the court to appear before it.

However, the police were unable to execute the order since it was issued, claiming that Ajudua had gone underground.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, the judge held that “the first defendant ceased to be on bail since December 15, 2005 when his bail was revoked.

“The case has been held up as agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria have been unable to execute the warrant of arrest issued on January 24, 2005.

“The first defendant is hereby ordered to be remanded in prison.

“The Superintendent of Prison shall ensure that the accused is given unrestricted access to medical treatment including being taken to LUTH as an out patient when occasions demand.”

Though Mr. Wemimo Ogunde (SAN), who represented the EFCC in court opposed the application by the accused persons seeking the reversal of the order of arrest, Justice Oyewole reversed the order, noting the fact that the accused person is now present in court.

According to the judge, since the accused person’s bail had been revoked, it would still remain for him to convince the court if he was worthy of being released on bail.

He, however, rejected the appeal by the defence counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo,for the remand of the accused in EFCC custody.

The judge also declined an alternative appeal to allow the accused attend to his treatment as an out-patient at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).





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