Justice Kudirat Jose of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Friday, June 6, 2014, suspended further hearing in the $1.69million scam case involving suspected serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua, till September 24, 2014, to allow for the determination of the accused person’s appeal, challenging the court’s refusal of his bail application.
Ajudua is asking the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division to upturn Justice Jose’s decision to refuse him bail. In the notice of appeal, he insisted that he needed urgent medical attention that would not be possible while in prison. He contended that the lower court was biased in not granting his bail application.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, EFCC counsel, Oluwemimo Ogunde, SAN, argued on point of law against the ruling of Justice Jose at the last court sitting on May 23, ordering the EFCC to call witnesses in the on going trial of Ajudua, despite the pending application by the defence for stay of proceedings in view of its application before the appellate court.
Ogunde stated that, the position of law concerning the lower court in a matter that has a pending application before a higher court was that, when "an application is before a higher court, a lower court cannot silence a higher court and continue trial.”
But Ajudua's counsel, Olalekan Ojo, argued that the court cannot overrule itself.
However, Ogunde countered that, "the prosecution is not here to argue if the court should overrule itself, neither are we here to argue the merit of the application but the position of the law. But if the court insists on the previous ruling, we will go ahead and call our witnesses and our witnesses are coming from abroad and it will be a waste of tax payers’ money to bring these witnesses only to discover that they are not needed".
After listening to the submissions of counsel, Justice Jose then ruled that trial will continue on September 24 and October 2, 2014, after the Court of Appeal would have taken a position on the application before it.
Ajudua and Charles Ovie are standing trial before Justice Jose for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen of $1.69m.