The failure of court registrars to issue a production warrant to the authorities of Kirikiri Prisons in Lagos,stalled the fraud trial of Fred Ajudua at an Ikeja High Court on Monday.
Ajudua, a socialite and suspected fraudster, is accused of defrauding a retired former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi of $8.4 million.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Josephine Oyefeso was to give a ruling on Ajudua’s application to quash the fraud charges proffered against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The production warrant, which was not issued was a necessary documentation to ensure Ajudua’s attendance in court for his trial.
Reacting to the development, Ajudua’s Defence Counsel, Alex Agbaka, said: “we are aware that the necessary documents to ensure the defendant’s attendance were not served on the prison authorities”.
Responding, Oyefeso enquired if the court registrars had issued an apology to Agbaka and Temitope Banjo, the Prosecution Counsel for the EFCC.
When the court registrars answered in the affirmative, Oyefeso cautioned them against a repeat of the omission.
She adjourned the case until September 27 for the ruling.
NAN reports that Ajudua, allegedly defrauded the former chief of army staff to the tune of $8.4 million while they were both in custody in Kirikiri Prisons in 2004.
Bamaiyi was in custody for treason while Ajudua was in custody for fraud-related offences.
Ajudua, alongside some accomplices, had allegedly approached Bamaiyi and convinced him that he could hire the legal services of Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), to help secure his freedom, prompting Bamaiyi to give Ajudua $8.4 million as legal fees.
When the fraud came to light, the law chambers of Afe Babalola and Co. issued a disclaimer disassociating itself from the case.