Former Chief of Army Staff, General Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd) yesterday narrated to an Ikeja High Court, Lagos how he was defrauded of $8.4m by Fred Ajudua in 2004.
General Bamayi told the presiding judge, Justice Josephine Oyefeso how defrauded him of ten Million dollars ($10.3m) , under the false pretense of helping him to hire Chief Afe-Babalola (SAN) to defend him in a murder charge.
Ajudua standing trial on a 28-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence, preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.
Led in evidence by S.A Atteh, EFCC counsel, Bamayi said he was arrested and remanded in Kirikiri Maxumum prison over a murder charge in 1999 and he met the defendant Fred Ajudua and one Ade-Benden while in the prison.
Led in evidence by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Prosecutor, Saidu Atteh, Bamaiyi gave a graphic detail of how Ajudua allegedly collected several sums of money from him while they were both inmates of Kirikiri prisons.
Bamaiyi told the court that Ajudua allegedly deceived him into believing that the money would be used to bribe Justice Joseph Oyewole who as at then was handling his trial.
“The defendant told me he has only a child named ‘Bobo’ and he sworn on his life , that God should take his child’s life if he cheats me while Ade-Bendel also said he is now a Christian and he was attending a church and preaching in that same church in Kirikiri prison then.
“I believed them because I can not swear on my children’s life for any reason,” he said.
The retire general also said that Ajudua told him that part of the money would be used to settle the Legal fee purported charged by Afe Babalola Chambers to handle his matter.
Narrating how he gave Ajudua the money, Bamaiyi said: “ In 2004 he collected money from me 19 times. He brought a woman who said she was representing Justice Oyewole. In the presence of Kirikiri Prisons controller, ACP Garuba, I gave her $330,000.
“In January 2004, the defendant collected $200,000 from me. I personally delivered the money to him. The defendant promised to deliver the money to Afe Babalola.
“On January 6, 2004, he sent his boy, Jonathan to collect N700,000 from me. He later called me and said that Jonathan dissappeared with the money.
On February 2005, I sent $500,000 through my driver to the defendant who was then on admission at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH. He called me and confirmed that he received the money.
“I also sent another $450,000 through Danladi Yaro to the defendant also at LUTH,”
“In June 2005, I gave the defendant $450,000 in the presence of Ade Bendel. Someone who claim to be from Afe Babalola Chamber later called me to acknowledge receipt of the money.
“ I also gave the defendant another $420,000 in ACP Garuba’s office inside the prison.”
Bamaiyi also said that aside several other money, his wife also gave Ajudua $390,000 at the car part of Kirikiri prisons.
He asaid someone pretending to be Justice Oyewole also called him and acknowledged reciept of the money from the defendant.
Asked how he got such huge sums which he gave to the defendant, Bamaiyi said that his family members and friends who do not want their names disclosed, raised the money for him.
He said: “The source of the money is from my friends, family and colleagues who did not want their names disclosed because they were serving the government then.
“Part of the money also came from my farm. I have been into farming since 1984. I also sold several of my properties to raise the money. I sold two duplexes located in Dolphin Estate, Lagos. I also sold my two bungalows in Kaduna.”
Before concluding his testimony, Bamaiyi also hinted the court that some relatives of the defendant have been making efforts to settle the issue with him.
He said that they had offered to pay him certain amount which he turned down.
After hearing his testimony, Justice Josephine Oyefeso adjourned the matter to December 20, 2018 for cross examination.