Former Chief of Army Staff during the Sani Abacha military regime, Ishaya Bamaiyi, on Tuesday narrated to an Ikeja High Court how a court registrar, Ms. Rosulu Idowu Oluronke, aided a Lagos socialite, Fred Ajudua, to defraud him of $330,000 meant to be part payment for professional fees supposedly charged by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) to handle his case.
Bamaiyi told Justice Lateef Lawal -Akapo, that he met Ajudua and Alumile Adedeji a.k.a. Ade Bendel at Kirikiri maximum prison, during his remand for alleged attempted murder of the publisher of The Guardian, Mr. Alex Ibru and two others.
It will be recalled that Justice Joseph Oyewole, in a judgment held that Bamaiyi, who had been standing trial since 1999 on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and attempted murder of Ibru, ex-Director of Sports in Delta State, Isaac Porbeni, and erstwhile presidential candidate in the year’s election, Prof. Pat Utomi, should be freed, since the prosecution did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was liable to the offence.
Led in-evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. Seidu Alteh, Bamaiyi further told the court that Rosulu (defendant), who was Justice Oyewole’s registrar, visited him three times at Kirikiri maximum prison in respect of the payment for Chief Babalola’s professional fees.
“On November 23, 1999, I was in cell 5 (first floor) at Kirikiri maximum prison. Later Ajudua and Ade Bendel were brought to the block. I and Ajudua were together in my cell, so we became friends.
”Ajudua told me that he is a lawyer and has studied my case, and found out it is purely a political one. He told me that he was interested in the case and has sent his wife to see the Lagos Chief Judge (CJ), Justice Ade Alabi (retired) and the state Attorney General (AG), Professor Yemi Osinbajo, over the matter. I was told that the CJ was the one in contact with Chief Babalola,” Bamaiyi stated.
According to the retired army general, Ajudua later told him that based on the advice of the CJ and AG, (Justice Alabi and Prof. Osinbajo) there was need for the case to be handled by Chief Babalola who would facilitate his release from prison custody.
He said: “I was told that Chief Babalola used to charge $18million as professional fees. I was then told that the money was to be paid through Justice Oyewole. Ajudua told me that Justice Oyewole was going to send his registrar (Rosulu).
“On October 23, 2004 (1st visit) the defendant, Rosulu, came with Ajudua at the prison and confirmed to me that she was sent by Justice Oyewole. She came with Ajudua to the visiting room, alongside a prison officer, ACP Abdullahi Garuba.
“On November 6, 2004 at 10am, (2nd visit) the defendant, Rosulu, came with Ajudua at the prison, alongside ACP Garuba. This time she came with her daughter whom she said was from the University. The defendant assured me that any money released through Justice Oyewole would get to Chief Babalola.