A one-time Lagos socialite and businessman, Fred Ajudua, on Monday asked an Ikeja High Court to quash a one million dollar fraud charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The EFCC, in the charge, claimed that Ajudua, an alleged serial fraudster, and his accomplice, one Joseph Ochunor, had in 1993 defrauded a German-based company, Ziad Abu Zalaf of Technical International Limited, of $1 million.
The charge, originally filed in 2005, was struck out by Justice Morenikeji Obadina in 2009 for want of diligent prosecution after Ajudua failed to make an appearance in court on 24 occasions.
But the EFCC, however, on February 13 re-opened the case before Justice Josephine Oyefeso after Ajudua had presented himself to the authorities.
During Monday’s proceedings, Ajudua’s counsel, Norrison Quakers (SAN), informed the court that he had two pending applications before the court asking it to strike out the charge and also accused the EFCC of failing to file their court processes on time.
Quakers said: “The application dated May 9 is seeking that the fraud charge should be struck out; we served the prosecution with a copy of the application on May 10.
“The counter-affidavit of the prosecution was not filed within time and there was no application before the court to regularise same.”
But counsel to the EFCC, S.A. Atteh, disputed Quakers’ claim, saying: “We filed a counter-affidavit dated May 17 and the learned senior counsel noted that there was a mistake on the date and we filed another one on October 10.
Atteh added: “With the kind permission of the court, we will like to regularise same with an oral application.”
After the oral application by the EFCC’s counsel, Quakers, however, requested the court to give him a seven-day period within which to respond to the prosecution’s counter-affidavit.
Justice Oyefeso adjourned the case until November 30 for the hearing of the application seeking to quash the fraud charge.