By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Justice J. E. Oyefeso of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Monday, July 3, 2017, refused an application filed by an alleged serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua, to proceed on an urgent trip abroad for medical checks.
According to an EFCC statement, Ajudua was re-arraigned on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 on an amended 28-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.
Ajudua is facing trial alongside others who are still at large for allegedly collecting various sums of money from Lt. General Ishaya Bamaiyi (retd.), while they were both in custody at the Kirikiri Prison, Lagos.
The defendant and his accomplices allegedly approached Bamaiyi, who was facing trial for the attempted murder of Alex Ibru, the late Publisher of The Guardian Newspaper, and assured him that they could secure his freedom.
The offence is contrary to Section 8(a) and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 13 of 1995 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.
Moving the application today, Ajudua’s counsel, Norisson Quakers, SAN, prayed for an order of accelerated hearing to enable his client proceed on an urgent medical trip to India for a major surgery in consonance with the subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal.
While urging the court to grant the application in the interest of justice, Quakers said:
“My client is critically ill and requires urgent specialized surgery in India to salvage his solitary malfunctioning kidney. He is not medically fit to stand trial.”
S. K. Atteh, counsel to the EFCC, had in a counter- affidavit to the application, told the court that the supporting affidavit by the defence did not state that the medical conditions of defendant had defiled all medical solutions in Nigeria.
He said: “If the defendant is allowed to travel abroad or is obliged this application on the pretext of medical treatment, he will be sending fake reports of his medical state as he had done in the past”.
He urged the court to refuse the application.
In his ruling, Justice Oyefeso described the application as “unnecessary” and adjourned to July 13, 2017 for commencement of trial.
In a similar vein, Justice Oyefeso also adjourned to October 16, 2017 for hearing on three pending applications filed by Ajudua in case of $1million fraud.
In the said suit, Ajudua and one Joseph Ochunor had, sometime in 1993, allegedly defrauded one Ziad Abu Zalaf of Technical International Limited, a company based in Germany of $1million.
The applicant is urging the court to quash the charges against him; suspend the trial pending the final judgment of the Court of Appeal and leave to travel abroad for medical checks.