Justice Josephine Oyefeso of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, has dismissed an application filed by a serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua, asking the EFCC to provide the defence with the documents listed in the schedule of documents attached to Exhibit A.
Ajudua allegedly defrauded former Chief of Army Staff, Ishaya Bamaiyi of $8.4m while both were in Kirikiri Prison in 2004 for different offences.
Ajudua, along with some accomplices, had allegedly approached Bamaiyi and convinced him that he could hire the legal services of Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, at the cost of $8.4m to help secure his release.
When Ajudua moved the motion through his counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, dated February 6, 2019, the prosecution led by S.K. Atteh, urged the court to dismiss it “in the interest of justice", arguing that the prosecution was neither in the possession of all the items listed, nor in position to furnish the defence with the documents.
Ojo had argued that the documents were needed for the conduct of the cross-examination of, Bamaiyi, the first prosecution witness, and other witnesses.
The schedule of the documents, according to Ojo, includes certified true copies of sales agreement in respect of the property the first prosecution witness said was sold to raise the money; evidence of payment; particulars of persons from whom he got the funds and evidence of amount of money he got from his friends.
Others are: visitor’s book from 2005; evidence of visit from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, by him or his associates; copies of applications for visit; records showing his visits and copies of the documents by which payments for the property were effected.
Ojo, who supported the application with a written address, had, therefore, urged the court to grant his application so as to “discover the truth and get justice.”
Delivering ruling on the application on February 21, 2019, Justice Oyefeso rejected the request by the defence for the prosecution to produce some documents, which include the 2005 visitors' book of the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons and the additional proof of the source of the $8.4million.
The Judge held that: "There is no doubt that the defendant facing a criminal charge should require facilities to assist or aid his defence and in the instant case, the defence has been served with documents and additional proof of evidence.
"The prosecution claimed they do not have items two to eight on the schedule of documents.
"The court is not compelled to force the prosecution to come up with documents which they clearly do not have.
"I am satisfied with the explanation of the prosecution and the application of the defendant is hereby dismissed."
Justice Oyefeso, thereafter, adjourned the case to April 3, 2019 for continuation of trial.
Media & Publicity
February 22, 2019