Fraud suspect, Ajudua, remanded in Kirikiri Prison

Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Tuesday, ordered that a fraud suspect, Fred Ajudua, be remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prison over a fraud charge filed against him since 2003.

Ajudua has been standing trial before the court over allegations of fraud to the tune of over $1.5 billion, but has allegedly refused to attend trial since four years ago, after being granted bail by Justice Oyewole.

The judge issued a warrant for his arrest since then, but police authorities have not been able to produce him in court since then, prompting unending adjournments in the matter.

He however appeared in court on Tuesday with a request for bail since the court had revoked the earlier one granted him.

Justice Oyewole, however, turned down the hearing of the request and instead ordered that he should be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing of the bail application.

Making the order, the judge said: “The first defendant ceased to be on bail since December 15, 2006 when his bail was revoked.

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“The case has been held up as the agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria have been unable to execute the warrant of arrest issued on January 24, 2005.

“The first defendant is hereby ordered to be remanded in prison. The Superintendent of Prison shall ensure that the accused is given unrestricted access to medical treatment, including being taken to LUTH as an out patient when occasions demand.”

The matter was subsequently adjourned till June 24, 2013 for the hearing of the bail application.

In October 2003, Nuhu Ribadu, then Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said that Ajudua had 12 cases pending against him, including an advance fee fraud of 1.6 million Euros and another of $1.5 million, both committed in 2001.

He was accused of collecting money from Nelson Allen, a Canadian who lost $250,000.

A German was said to have lost $350,000 to him. He was also said to have tricked more than $1.69million out of two Dutch nationals between 1999 and 2000.

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In year 2000, he was reported as having served five years of prison at Kirikiri and Agodi.

On July 26, 2005, the German woman, Frieda Springer-Beck, agreed to an out-of-court settlement after a long series of inconclusive court appearances dating back to 1993.

Ajudua was granted bail to seek medical attention in India on February 3, 2005. Hearing that he was back in Nigeria, EFCC attempted to arrest him on March 20, 2007 at a beer parlour in Ibusa. The move was thwarted by armed thugs.

In 2007, the Administrative Panel of Inquiry on Reports of Alleged Corrupt Practices recommended that Ajudua’s wife should not run for political office on the basis of an EFCC report, that she had been involved in a conspiracy to obtain $7.85million and N3 million under false pretence and had used money from fraudsters to campaign for election.

But, the panel noted that there was no direct evidence linking her to the activities of her husband.

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