Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Tuesday dismissed an application filed before the court by Mr. Allens Agbaka, counsel to Fred Ajudua seeking to quash the charges against his client who is standing trial for defrauding a Dutch National, Mr. Remy Cime to the tune of $1.69m.
In his ruling on Tuesday, Justice Oyewole said there was no misrepresentation of information before the court and that it would amount to speculation to quash the charges against Ajudua at this stage of trial.
According to the Judge, the charge cannot be quashed “because the star witness who also doubles as the victim of Ajudua’s fraudulent activities chose to withdraw from the case. The case was instituted by the Federal Government and not Remy Cime”
It would be recalled that at the last adjourned date, June 24, 2013, Agbaka had argued that the prosecution’s star witness, Remy Cima had withdrawn from the case and would not be testifying in the trial. According to him, that was enough ground to quash the charges preferred against Ajudua by the EFCC.
EFCC’s counsel, Oluwemimo Ogunde, SAN, in his reaction, told the court to discountenance Agbaka’s claims because they were speculative, unfounded and hasty. He further argued that Ajudua’s counsel’s claims lacked merit as he could not prove them. “He has no knowledge of who the prosecution intends to present as first or last witness or the number of witnesses that the prosecution intends to bring to the stand,” he said.
Ogunde also told the court that an application to quash charges can only be moved at the beginning of a case “when no prima facie fact is established and when there is a no-case submission”. He also added that “apart from the fact that the application is speculative, it is unknown to law, as it will lead to a review of evidence which by law cannot be done until the prosecution closes its case”. On the basis of these, Ogunde moved that Agbaka’s application should be struck out.
In view of the refusal of the court to grant Agbaka’s application, the defence counsel quickly filed an application for bail for Ajudua. Ogunde however objected to the application on the grounds that Ajudua had previously jumped bail and has not shown the court that he will not do so again. Ogunde also reminded the court the circumstances that warranted the court revoking Ajudua’s bail, and that he was yet to tell the court why he disappeared and stalled trial for several years.
After listening to the submissions of both the prosecution and defence counsels, Justice Oyewole subsequently adjourned the case to Thursday June 27, 2013, for ruling on the bail application.