© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
$5.9million Ajudua Trial Stalled Over Absence of Lawyer
The case of Fred Ajudua who is standing trial for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Ishaya Bamaiyi of $5.9 million dollars (about N1 billion) was on Monday postponed due to the absence of his legal counsel, Olalekan Ojo.
At the resumption of proceedings before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of an Ikeja High Court, Ajudua, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, told the court that he had some unresolved issues with his counsel which might have led to his absence.
In his submission, The EFCC counsel, Seidu Atteh, informed the court that the initial charges against Ajudua had been amended and that the complainant (Bamaiyi) and other prosecution witnesses were in court to testify against Ajudua.
However, the amended charge could not be read to Ajudua since he had no legal representation.
The judge consequently adjourned the matter to July 4 for his re-arraignment.
In the initial charge, the EFCC alleged that Ajudua conspired with others now at large to perpetrate the fraud between November 2004 and June 2005.
According to the EFCC, the defendant defrauded Bamaiyi of the monies while they were both on remand at Kirikiri Prison in Lagos over separate alleged criminal charges.
The anti-graft agency said Ajudua obtained the money from Bamaiyi by false pretence claiming that it was the professional fees charged by his lawyer, Afe Babalola to handle his case.
He is also alleged to have claimed that the money collected from the complainant would help to facilitate his (Bamaiyi’s) release from prison.