By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Jane Echewedo
Lagos socialite and lawyer, Fred Ajudua, burst into tears yesterday, when an Ikeja Special Offences Court ordered that he be transferred from Ikoyi Maximum Prisons to Kirikiri Prisons, moments after the court declined him bail.
Justice Mojisola Dada, who issued the order after she rejected Ajudua’s bail application on medical grounds, observed that his case has taken more time than necessary.
On hearing the order, Ajudua betrayed emotion and bowed down his head in the dock.
Ruling on Ajudua’s bail application, the judge noted that Ajudua’s criminal cases are the oldest in the docket of the Lagos State Judiciary and have suffered a lot of setbacks due to several adjournments on alleged health challenges of the defendant.
Referring to a Court of Appeal ruling of over four years ordering his trial to justify the position of the court, Justice Dada held that Ajudua has had sufficient time to treat himself but failed to do so.
She ruled: “This case has suffered series of adjournments on health grounds for 13 years. I am not persuaded because this case is one of the oldest in Lagos State.
“The defendant’s sickness cannot further delay the case. Trial in this case has commenced and prosecution called two witnesses. Parties should vigorously pursue the conclusion of this trial.”
The court directed that Ajudua be granted unfettered access to a medical facility in Kirikiri Prisons.
Prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Temitope Banjo, thanked the judge for its orders on the defendant.
Ajudua is standing trial before Justice Mojisola Dada on a 12-count amended charge of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretenses, obtaining money by false pretenses, altering documents and forgery.
He is accused by the EFCC of defrauding two Germans, Michael Kramer and Ziad Abu Zalaf, of $1 million in a business deal in 1993, which turned out to be false.
Justice Dada adjourned the case till September 27 and 28 for trial.