BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned alleged fraud kingpin, Fred Ajudua before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi of $10.3million.
He was re-arraigned on an eight count charge of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences and obtaining money by false pretences before Justice Josephine Oyefeso.
Ajudua, was docked before the court after Justice Oyefeso dismissed his preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try him.
The anti-graft agency had alleged that Ajudua while in custody at the Kirikiri Prisons for a fraud-related offence, had approached Bamaiyi, who was facing trial for the attempted murder of Mr Alex Ibru, the late publisher of the Guardian Newspaper.
The commission also claimed that the accused person allegedly convinced the Bamaiyi that he could help to secure his freedom and secure legal services on his behalf.
“Ajudua received 10.3million dollars as well as N2 million from Bamaiyi on 23 occasions under the guise that the money was the legal fees for the law firm of Chief Afe Babalola and Co which was false,” the EFCC stated.
According to the anti-graft agency, the money ranging from $3,500 to $1.5million, was given to Ajudua and his accomplices on Bamaiyi’s behalf through ASP Abdullahi Garba, a prison officer, Mr Garba Tagda, Mr Danladi Yaro, Lt-Col. Timothy Chechet and Mrs Martha Bamaiyi.
Ajudua pleaded not guilty to the charge.