Again, Ajudua approaches court for bail

6

BY AKEEB ALARAPE

Embattled Lagos lawyer and businessman, Chief Fred Ajudua, has again approached a Lagos High Court in Ikeja for a fresh bail. Ajudua, who is standing trial for fraud-related offences, had been on admission at the private ward of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) since August 12 for alleged kidney-related medical complications.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned the embattled lawyer alongside Charles Hijiudu in 2003 for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of $1.6 million between July 1999 and September 2000.

Ajudua, according to the court, avoided trial for eight years until his appearance on June 11, this year, to continue with his case before Justice Joseph Oyewole of a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja.

On his appearance in court, Justice Oyewole revoked his bail application on the request of the EFCC and subsequently remanded him in prison custody.

Efforts by Ajudua’s lawyer, Allens Agbaka, to rescue him from his present ordeals failed as the two applications filed by him, asking the court to quash the case against him as the complainant had withdrawn from the case and also to restore his revoked bail, were turned down.

With his present condition, another counsel to Ajudua, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, yesterday, filed a fresh bail application before a vacation judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari.

Arguing the fresh application, dated August 19, Ojo said there were fresh facts which emerged after his client was last denied bail by Justice Oyewole.

According to Ojo, after Oyewole denied bail to Ajudua, the accused person was rushed to the emergency unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, when his condition deteriorated.

But opposing the bail application, counsel to EFCC, Mr. Wemimo Ogunde (SAN), said Ajudua did not deserve any fresh bail.

Ogunde hinged his opposition to the fact that Ajudua would escape if granted fresh bail as he did when he was granted bail on health grounds in 2005.

But responding to the EFCC’s stance against his application, Ojo stated that a judge was not bound by the decision of another judge of a coordinate jurisdiction.

He cited the case of Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs Alhaji Bulama, in which the Court of Appeal ruled that an accused was entitled to file a fresh application in the face of fresh facts.

“The law allows a fresh application for bail pending trial to be filed by an accused 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,” Ojo stated.

Ogunde, however, told the court that the EFCC’s affidavit opposing the application was in good faith since Ajudua had record of ‘previous escape for seven years which was confirmed by judicial decisions.’

He said it was confirmed in some of the court’s decisions that the accused had travelled to India in 2005 for treatment but failed to return when he got well.

“He escaped for seven years. People were 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,” Ogunde said.

Ruling on the application was adjourned till September 10 by Justice Safari.

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6 Comments

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  3. This is de first time uchebest will make sense in his comment. Well Ajudua will not be granted bail cos of his past record. If another bail is granted him, Ajudua will disappear for ever. He must be made to pay de price,which is long prison term.

  4. They killed Nigeria judicial system with a word “This is a bailable offense” . They have killed this case since 7 years ago reviving it to our hearing seems to be a mere gallery. Now that the owner of this matter is no longer interested to pursue the matter can they do justice to it in other to save Nigeria’s image?
    The man left this case because he felt Nigeria judiciary can not effect justice to him. Now it could be referred as a case between the state and Mr or Chief Ajudua as they normally address themselves will justice be given? Will it not go the way of pension man? Tarfa Balogun with six months imprisonment that runs concurrently of three months release? Mrs Ibru that spent her own jail term in a luxurious privately owned hospital ?
    Will he be given three months imprisonment with #20,000 naira option of fines just to argument the effort of this toothless bulldog EFCC ?
    Nigeria’s image all over the world keep on soiling day in , day out because of few greedy individuals. These are the reasons our international passport do not command any respect at the port of entry to so many international airport in the world if one is a regular traveller.

  5. Barr Ajudua thought he was too smart. He had his time when he was moving with long convoy of vehicles and mobile Policemen who were at his beck and call . All is vanity upon vanity. Tere is time for everything under the sun. A time to enjoy by fleecing people of their hard earned currency, ridding Porsche cars with beautiful girls and a time to pay back that which was fleeced from people.
    Tell your family and all those Obis in Delta you gave cars and money to return them so you can pay back that
    which you owe. Your travails are just starting , as more victims will show up.

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