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Fraudster Fred Ajudua seeks bail again





Fraudster Fred Ajudua seeks bail again Fred Ajudua

The accused is currently detained at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons.

For the fourth time in a decade, alleged serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua, has approached a Lagos High Court seeking bail from detention at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons.

On Wednesday, Mr. Ajudua, 52, filed a fresh bail application before Ganiyu Safari, a vacation judge, seeking for his release from prison custody.

The accused and Charles Orie are accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of duping Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, two Dutch businessmen, of US$1.69 million (N270 million).

Olalekan Ojo, Mr. Ajudua’s lawyer, premised the grounds of the application for bail on “fresh facts” emanating from the accused ill health.

Despite his plea that he was living on just one kidney, Olubunmi Oyewole, the trial judge, denied Mr. Ajudua bail last June due to what he described as Mr. Ajudua’s penchant to jump bail.

But Mr. Ojo said, on Wednesday, that the condition of his client had deteriorated since the trial judge’s ruling.

Three weeks ago, Mr. Ajudua was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital after a kidney malfunction that resulted to him passing out blood through his manhood; his lawyer had told PREMIUM TIMES.

EFCC OPPOSES

Wemimo Ogunde, counsel to the EFCC, insisted that Mr. Ajudua did not deserve a fresh bail.

Mr. Ajudua was first arraigned in 2003, and was granted bail two years later to seek medical attention in India over his kidney-related ailment.

The accused absconded for several years forcing the judge to revoke his bail and declare him wanted.

Mr. Ajudua reappeared to continue his trial earlier this year.

According to Mr. Ogunde, there is a huge chance that Mr. Ajudua would abscond again if granted bail “as he ran away from trial for seven years.”

“We have taken his condition into consideration. That was why we did not oppose the bail in 2005 when we saw that he needed to treat himself,” said Mr. Ogunde, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

“He escaped for seven years. People were even accusing me that I was compromised and that was why I did not oppose the bail.

“The defendant had enjoyed liberal terms in the past. If he is granted fresh bail, who knows if it is going to take another seven years to return?”

“This is not a vindictive opposition; it is an opposition that we must make as responsible prosecution. We owe it to the state that the defendant is properly prosecuted,” Mr. Ogunde added.

In his response, Mr. Ojo stated that the judge was not bound by the decision of the trial judge.

“The law allows a fresh application for bail pending trial to be filed by an accused applicant where there are changed circumstances different from the circumstances that were in existence as of the time the initial or previous application for bail was refused,” said Mr. Ojo.

“I urge the court to grant my client’s (bail) application, even in more stringent terms, to enable him treat himself more promptly and adequately than the prison would do,” he added.

Mr. Safari adjourned till September 10 for ruling on the application for bail.


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