A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ishaya Bamaiyi, on Monday, told a Lagos High Court that serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua, collected millions of dollars from him purportedly on behalf of the legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola, in 25 tranches.
Bamaiyi told the court, presided over by Justice Josephine Oyefeso that Ajudua collected the money during the pendency of criminal trial before a Lagos court over an allegation of attempted murder of late Alex Ibru, Publisher of The Guardian.
He said he personally gave Ajudua money he raised from his friends, and well-wishers for hiring Chief Babalola for his legal representation. Consequently, he said Ajudua collected the money while in Kirikiri Maximum prison, the hospital bed at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and when he was discharged before going to Indian hospital for treatment.
He said in 2004, Ajudua collected money from him and his associates six times while in 2005, he collected money from the same categories of people 19 times.
“When on admission at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, my friends and personal staffs delivered money to him while in prison. He also collected money from my wife twice, once inside the prison and the other one outside the prison. “Anytime money was released by me or any of my staff, I recorded them in my diary. In 2004, he collected money six times and in 2005, he collected money 19 times.
“Anytime money was released both in the hospital and out of the hospital, he would call me on phone to confirm. “There was a time I was worried and he was on bail then. I demanded to meet Chief Afe Babalola. Thereafter, one Barrister Richard Oma came and met me in prison. He claimed to come from Chambers of Chief Afe Babalola. But to my surprise, he did not come with any letter from Chief Afe Babalola’s chambers.
“Later, he came with another letter which did not carry any logo from Chambers of Chief Afe Babalola to me in the prison custody. I collected the letter from him. “Also one man named Kenneth came to me in the prison custody and he claimed to be from Department of State Security Services. He said he came from General Aliyu Gusau, the then National Society Adviser. He said Gusau and Obasanjo had met and they discussed my issue and they want to be assured that I will not cause trouble if I’m released from the custody.
“I told him I had no problem with the president. He told me to write an undertaken that I will not cause trouble if released. I told him I’ll not write any undertaken,” Bamaiyi said.
Consequently, he said Ajudua, one Jonathan who was a personal assistant to Ajudua and serial fraudster Alumile Adedeji popularly called Ade Bendel collected money from with intentions of securing the services of Chief Afe Babalola.
“On November 22 in 2004 the presence of ACP Garba, I gave the sum of $20,000 to one Jonathan who was the personal assistant of the defendant. On November 30th, my wife Imuade, brought $400,000 and I counted the money and Jonathan his boy went away with the money.
“On December 4th, 2004, the defendant boy came with somebody who said he was orderly of Justice Oyewole and the sum of $1.5 million was counted before it was handed to Jonathan. On December 16th, 2004, my ADC Chechet, a major brought in $1million and gave the money to the defendant in the visitor waiting room.
“At about 6pm, the defendant called me and told me that his wife was in the house of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ade Alabi waiting for Chief Afe Babalola. He called his wife to confirm and at about 11pm, the defendant called to tell me that Chief Afe Babalola had collected the money. “Sometime on December 27th, 2004 one of my associates brought in $350,000 which was given to the defendant. His boy Jonathan also collected $600,000 on January 15, 2005,” the witness affirmed.
He further told the court that he raised the funds that were collected by the defendant as proceed of the sale of his properties in Victoria Island, Dolphins Estate, Yaba and Lekki in Lagos.
He also said he sold his landed properties in Kaduna as well as proceeds from his farm which he had been engaged in since 1994.
“I was posted to Lagos in 1996. During the period I was able to acquire properties in Sanusi Fafunwa in Victoria Island which was allocated to me by the Lagos State government.
“I sold it as well as my property in Dolphin Estate. I also had duplex at Tajudeen Olanrewaju Estate, Tabatha which I sold. This is part of how I raised the fund that I can remember,” Bamaiyi said.
The case was adjourned to December 20th for the continuation of trial.