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Ajudua loses appeal against trial for serial fraud

Ajudua loses appeal against trial for serial fraud
July 18
21:42 2014

Alleged serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua, on Friday lost his bid to stop his trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegations of defrauding former chief of army staff, Lt-Gen Ishaya Bamaiyi of about $8.39 million.

According to EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal dismissed Ajudua’s application challenging the competence of the charge and the jurisdiction of the Lagos High Court.

HE said Ajudua, who was arraigned before Justice Atinuke Ipaye of the Lagos High Court on a 14-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, had filed a notice of preliminary objection in which he stated that the proof of evidence did not disclose any case against him.

“Justice Ipaye dismissed the objection. Dissatisfied, Ajudua subsequently appealed against the decision of the trial court,” an EFCC statement read.

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“At the hearing of the appeal he filed against the ruling of the Lagos state High Court dismissing his application asking the court to decline jurisdiction to entertain the charge, Ajudua contended that the lower court erred in law when it held that he could be tried under the repealed Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 1995.

“Ajudua’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo submitted in the Appellant’s Brief of Argument and Appellant’s Reply Brief of Argument dated May 13 and June 11 respectively, that at the time Bamaiyi petitioned the EFCC over the alleged offence in 2006, the law upon which the 14-count charge was framed was no longer in existence.”

Maintaining that the proof of evidence did not support the charge, Ajudua’s counsel was qouted as saying that “the information as constituted at the lower court is procedurally and substantively incompetent”.

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But in a unanimous ruling, the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the trial court that the charge was competent.

Ajudua is alleged to have fraudulently collected a total sum of $8.39 million from Bamaiyi in installments by falsely claiming that the payments represented the professional fees charged by chief Afe Babatola (SAN) to handle Bamaiyi’s case in court and to facilitate his release from prison.

 

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