Justice Ganiyu Safari of the Lagos High Court Ikeja on Tuesday granted bail to alleged serialfraudster, Fred Ajudua, on health grounds, reasoning that the defendant must be alive to face trial.
Vacation judge, Justice Safari, granted Ajudua bail in the sum N50 million with two sureties who must have evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State government.
Ajudua and his co-defendant, Charles Orie, are accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of duping Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, two Dutch businessmen, of $1.69 million (about N270 million).
Ajudua, a lawyer and popular socialite was first arraigned before Justice Olubunmi Oyewole in 2003 and was granted bail two years later to seek medical attention in India over his kidney-related ailment.
He absconded for several years, forcing the then trial judge to revoke his bail and declare him wanted.
Ajudua finally re-appeared two-month ago after seven years of running from justice and further sought for bail from the court.
Justice Oyewole promptly turned down his bail request and made an order remanding him in KirikiriPrisons.
After a while in prison, Ajudua’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo last week however filed a fresh bail application on the ground that his client’s health has deteriorated.
He told the court that Ajudua was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH three weeks ago after a kidney malfunction that resulted in him passing out blood through his penis.
Counsel to the EFCC, Wemimo Ogunde, opposed the bail application and insisted that Ajudua did not deserve a fresh bail arguing that there is tendency that Ajudua would abscond again if granted bail.
In his ruling on the matter, Justice Safari held that there is enough compelling health grounds to grant Ajudua bail.
According him, a medical report dated August 13 which was issued by Adebisi Ogunjimi, a medical doctor at Lagos University Teaching Hospital LUTH, showed that Ajudua was rushed to the hospital on August 3.
The first defendant should not be made to suffer due to his health condition while undergoing trial. If he dies in custody, his trial will come to an end,” said the judge.
Safari also ordered that Ajudua must not travel outside Nigeria without the court’s consent and should therefore deposit his international passport with the chief registrar of the court.
Trial in the substantive suit before Justice Oyewole will however, continue on September 24.