A Lagos State High Court judge today remanded high profile fraud suspect, Fred Ajudua, in prison custody until June 24 2013.
Justice Olubunmi Oyewole ordered that Mr. Ajudua remain jail pending the commencement of his trial for defrauding two Dutch businessmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of $1.69 million between July 1999 and September 2000.
Mr. Ajudua appeared in court this morning after several adjournments by his lawyers in the alleged fraudulent deal, where Mr. Ajudua was accused of impersonating the Auditor-General of Nigeria, Isa Audu.
Three years after his 2003 arraignment, Mr. Ajudua was granted bail on medical grounds in March 2006. He had told the court afterwards that he was receiving treatment at Grant Medical Foundation, Pane, India in October 2006. Since then, he has failed to make any court appearance.
At every court session since his “medical” bail was approved; Mr. Ajudua had submitted a letter of medical excuse signed by Dr. M.O. Mabayoje of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). Besides, his defense counsel, Olalekan Ojo, became notorious for appearing in court to make incessant requests for adjournments. “There is no doubt that Chief Ajudua and his lawyer want to use the tactics of endless adjournments to make sure that the case would fizzle out over time,” said a source close to the prosecutors.
On Monday May 22nd, however, Justice Oyewole, who was presiding over the case, rejected further requests for adjournment. He fixed today, June 11 2013 for resumption of trial.
Although Mr. Ajudua’s lawyer had told the court severally that his client was undergoing treatment for renal artery stenosis he appeared today in court looking healthy.
Also, Ajudua lawyers today pleaded to the judge to let their client be remanded at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission detention facility, but the judge rejected the request and ordered that Mr. Ajudua be remanded at a public prison until the next adjourned date-June 24th 2013.
Ajudua, a lawyer by training is widely known as one of the originators of the Nigerian popular scam " 419".