The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned Fred Ajudua before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on amended 28-count charge bordering on alleged $8.4 million fraud.
The anti-graft agency is accusing him of defrauding former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Col. Ishaya Bamaiyi of the sum in 2004 while they were at the Kirikiri Prisons.
Ajudua pleaded not guilty to the charge when read to him.
The matter was initially before Justice Atinuke Ipaye and was transferred to Justice Kudirat Jose after Ajudua’s co-defendant and former registrar of the court, Olorunke Idowu Rosulu, opted for a separate trial for which she has since been jailed 10 for connivance.
However, earlier at the resumed hearing yesterday before the amended charge was read, Ajudua’s counsel, Norrison Quakers (SAN) informed the court that there was an application dated May 10, 2016 seeking an order of the court for permission to attend to travel abroad for an urgent surgery.
He stressed that his client is seriously ill and requires urgent trip abroad to salvage his solitary kidney.
EFFC counsel, Seidu Atteh in his response to the judge’s inquiry on why there was no response to the application, said the commission planned to respond orally.
Justice Jose therefore, ordered that the response be made in writing.
Thereafter, the defendant counsel prayed the court to allow Ajudua to continue on the earlier bail granted him by the Court of Appeal which Atteh objected, arguing that the matter was starting de-novo and as such the defendant needed to file fresh bail application.
The judge, in her ruling, ordered that Ajudua must file a formal bail application before the court, adding that she would not remand Ajudua in prison custody.
She subsequently adjourned the matter till September 15, 2016.
In a related development, the anti-graft agency has closed its case on the 14 foreigners and two Nigerians arraigned before the Federal High Court, Calabar for alleged oil bunkering.
The affected – 11 Indians, three Ghanaians and the Nigerians – were arrested on board MT Maro on July 22, 2014 by officials of the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, Yenagoa in Bayelsa State.