Embattled suspected fraudster, Fred Ajudua would have to remain in Kirikiri prison custody indefinitely as a Lagos High Court Judge, Justice Kudirat Jose, Monday turned down his bail application. Ajudua is standing trial before the judge for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen of $1.69 million. He is also facing trial in another court for allegedly defrauding former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, of about $8.395m.
Delivering ruling Monday on Ajudua’s bail application, Justice Jose held that the application lacked merit. Jose said from the medical reports attached to the application, which were issued by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), it was evident that Ajudua was not a very healthy man. The judge said Ajudua was admitted at LUTH on 3 August 3, 2013 and was treated for hypertension, traumatic haematuria and enlarged prostrate gland which arose from having only one kidney.
She said doctors had also recommended further treatment and possible corrective surgery to address his failing health. She however noted that the reports did not show that Ajudua cannot be treated while still in prison.
The judge added that he had not been able to convince the court that he would not abscond or interfere with witnesses if he was granted bail.
“The applicant (Ajudua) has not shown to the court why he was not able to come to his trial between 2006 and 2013. He did not respond to the allegation that he had tampered with a witness in the trial. Due to his absence, the matter has been stalled since 2006,” Jose said. Ajudua and Charles Orie were specifically charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly defrauding the businessmen – Messrs Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen. They were re-arrraigned before Justice Jose on 5 February, 2014 following the transfer of the case from the former trial judge, Justice Joseph Oyewole.
The matter is now adjourned till 28 April 28 for commencement of trial.