An Ikeja High Court on Tuesday remanded a suspected fraudster, Fred Ajudua, who is standing trial for allegedly defrauding two foreigners.
The presiding judge, Justice Joseph Oyewole ordered that Mr Ajudua, who had absconded trial since 2005, 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 Mr Ajudua and his co-accused, Charles Hijiudu for allegedly defrauding two foreigners, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of about $1.69 million 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He held in a ruling that “The first defendant ceased to be on bail since December 15, 2005 when his bail was revoked.”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 have 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 outpatient when occasions demand.”
The police were unable to execute the court’s order of arrest since it was issued in January 2006.
The EFCC’s counsel, Wemimo Ogunde on Tuesday had opposed the application seeking the reversal of the order of arrest.
However, Justice Oyewole reversed the order of arrest, following the accused person’s appearance in court.
Justifying his decision, the judge said since the accused person’s bail had been revoked, it would still remain for him to convince the court if he was worthy of being released on bail.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, 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 outpatient at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
The court adjourned till June 24 for hearing of Mr Ajudua’s bail application.
Source: Channels TV