$1.69m fraud: Ajudua gets N50m bail

An Ikeja High Court yesterday granted bail to a former Lagos socialite, Fred Ajudua, who has been on trial for an alleged $1.69 million (N270 million) fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ajudua was granted bail by a vacation judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari, on health grounds.

His counsel, Olalekan Ojo, filed the application on August 19, praying the court to grant him bail on “exceptional circumstances”.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Wemimo Ogunde (SAN) opposed the application, claiming that Ajudua would abscond, if granted bail.

Ruling on the application, Justice Safari granted Ajudua a bail of N50 million and two sureties.

The judge said it was evident that the accused was suffering from complicated ailments, which needed proper medical attention.

He noted that the medical report attached to the application issued by Dr Adebisi Ogunjimi of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) showed that Ajudua was “gravely ill.’’

Safari said the medical facilities at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, where Ajudua was being remanded, could not provide proper treatment for him.

The judge said: “There is no doubt that the medical condition of an applicant can warrant the granting of bail in exceptional circumstances.

“The applicant (Ajudua) is currently on admission at LUTH after he was rushed there on August 3, following his inability to urinate.

“The applicant has only one kidney and is also suffering from hypertension.”

According to Safari, Ajudua’s health condition should not be allowed to worsen, while the trial was still going on.

The judge, however, said that Ajudua had abused the previous bail granted him in February 2005 by Justice Joseph Oyewole.

“The accused travelled to India to receive treatment at Grant Medical Foundation and he thereafter, refused to attend court proceedings, leading to over 40 adjournments,” he said.

Justice Safari said the court had no option than to grant Ajudua bail on stringent terms to ensure that the trial was not stalled again.

He directed the sureties to deposit the title deeds of their buildings in Lagos to the court’s Chief Registrar.

He also directed them to produce three years’ tax clearance from the Lagos State government.

In addition, Ajudua was also asked to deposit his international passport with the Chief Registrar and was barred from travelling outside Nigeria without the court’s permission.

NAN reports that Ajudua and Charles Orie are on trial for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen –Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen – of $1.69 million (N270 million).

The fresh bail application, which was granted by Safari was the fourth to be filed by Ajudua since the trial began in 2003.


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