By Funke Busari
The long arm of the law seems to be catching up with an alleged fraudster, Mr. Fred Ajudua when on Tuesday an Ikeja High Court in Lagos remanded the accused in prison.
Ajudua had absconded trial since since 2005 before he appeared today before Justice Joseph Oyewole of the High Court who ordered that he should remain in custody till June 24 when his bail application would be ripe for hearing.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in 2003 arraigned Ajudua and his co-accused, Charles Hijiudu for allegedly defrauding two foreigners, Mr. Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of about $1.69m between July 1999 and September 2000.
Justice Oyewole had in January 2006 issued a bench warrant directing the police to arrest the accused and bring him to court, due to his continued absence in court.
He held in a ruling that “The first defendant ceased to be on bail since December 15, 2005 when his bail was revoked.”
“The case has been held up as the agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria has 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 police were unable to execute the court’s order of arrest since it was issued in January 2006.
The EFCC counsel,Mr. Wemimo Ogunde (SAN) on Tuesday had opposed the application seeking the reversal of the order of arrest.
However, Oyewole reversed the order of arrest, following the accused person’s appearance in court.
Justifying his decision, Oyewole said since the accused person’s bail had been revoked, it would still remain for him to convince the court if he was worthy of being released on bail.
But he rejected the appeal by the defence counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo,for the remand of the accused in EFCC custody.
The judge also declined an alternative appeal to allow the accused attend to his treatment as an out-patient at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
The court adjourned till June 24 for hearing of Ajudua’s bail application.