• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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From varsity to prison: Ajudua timeline of run-in with the law

Fred Ajudua

Fred Ajudua, a graduated of law from the University of Benin, Edo State, who was apprehended for land fraud and forgery, has been released on bail.

Lekan Ojo, Ajudua’s lawyer, stated this on Saturday evening.

Ojo who added that Ajudua was arrested on May 1, 2024, fumed that he was held by the Nigeria Police Force without being charged to court.

He said it is against the Constitution to detain a person for more than 48 hours without arraignment or releasing them on bail.

Timelime of Fred Ajudua’s run-ins with the law

In 2000, Ajudua was reported to have served five years imprisonment at Kirikiri and Agodi.

Three years after, Nuhu Ribadu, the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stated that Ajudua, whose name is frequently linked with advance-fee fraud had twelve cases pending against him.

One of it was an advance fee fraud of 1.6 million Euros and another of $1.5 million, both committed in 2001.

Ajudua was also accused of receiving money from Nelson Allen, a Canadian who lost $250,000, amongst others.

In 2005, Ajudua was granted bail to seek medical attention in India, with information he was back in thr country, the EFCC attempted to apprehend Ajudua in 2007 at a beer parlour. However, the attempted was distrupted by hooligans.

The Administrative Panel of Inquiry on Reports of Alleged Corrupt Practices in 2007 suggested that Ajudua’s wife should not vie for political office on the basis of an EFCC report that she was part of a conspiracy to obtain $7.85m and N3 million under false pretence.

Money from fraudsters was said to have used to finance campaign for election. However, the panel stated that there was no clear proof directing her to the activities of her husband.

In 2013, the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja remanded Ajudua in Kirikiri prisons over a fraud charge filed against him since 2003

Also, the EFCC in 2016 re-arraigned Ajudua, before Justice K.A Jose of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on a 28-count charge relating to conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.

One of the charges reads, “That you, Fred Chijindu Ajudua, Alumile Adedeji a.k.a Ade Bendel (still at large), Mr. Jonathan (still at large), Mr. Kenneth (still at large), Princess Amabong Williams (still at large) and others still at large on or about 16 December 2004 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court; with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) from Lt. General Bamaiyi by falsely representing that the said sum was part payment for the professional fees purportedly charged by Chief Afe Babalola to handle Lt. Gen. Bamaiyi’s case and to facilitate General Bamaiyi’s release from prison custody”.

Ajudua, however, pleaded “not guilty” after the charges were read to him.

Ojo, on Saturday, however, debunked the reason why Ajudua was arrested, adding that the petitioner expanded the dispute between himself and his client out of proportion.

He said the disagreement between Ajudua and the petitioner had nothing to do with land fraud or forged documents but the arrest was over a land dispute that had no ties to forgery.

He said, “Yes, Ajudua was arrested by the police but it has nothing to do with fraud or forgery or fake signatures on the land papers or any documents.

“The petitioner only exaggerated the situation. No documents were forged or anything.

“It is purely a land dispute and he’s been detained for four days now, which is against the 48-hour Constitution stipulated or allowed,” he said.