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Published On: Mon, Dec 21st, 2015

Court Registrar Bags 10 Years Jail for Aiding Fred Ajudu To Defraud Gen. Bamaiyi

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LAGOS DECEMBER 21ST (URHOBOTODAY)-A Lagos High Court judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo Monday sentenced a Court Registrar, Oluronke Rosolu, to 10 years imprisonment for aiding Fred Ajudua to defraud former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (retd) of $330,000.
Justice Lawal-Akapo sentenced Rosolu to 10 years imprisonment each on the two-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence levelled against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Rosolu is standing trial over allegation that she aided Fred Ajudua to defraud General Ishaya Bamaiyi while he was in Kirikiri Prisons.

She was alleged to have visited the Kirikiri prisons on three occasions in 2004 and collected $300,000 from Bamaiyi under the pretence that the money would be used to secure legal services from Afe Babalola chambers for him.
The court registrar, who will be due for retirement from the Lagos Judiciary early next year, was initially arraigned along with Ajudua and other persons still at large but opted for a separate trial.
During her trial, Rosolu denied all the allegations against her and insisted that she never visited the prisons as alleged by the EFCC or collected any money. She also denied ever meeting Ajudua or General Bamaiyi.
Delivering judgment, Justice Lawal-Akapo held that the EFCC was able to prove the case of conspiracy and obtaining of money by false pretence against Rosolu.
The judge held that despite denying any contact or meeting with Ajudua in Kirikiri prisons, evidence presented by the EFCC showed that Rosolu and Ajudua were co-conspirators.
According to the judge, a piece of evidence, a petition written by Ajudua found in Rosolu’s house during a search by the EFCC showed that both were working together.
On the allegation that she never collected any money from Bamaiyi while in prison, the judge held that not being able to show where she was on the dates she was purported to have visited the prisons and collected the money, he had no option but to believe the evidence of the EFCC witnesses.
Justice Lawal-Akapo subsequently held that the EFCC has proved its case beyond allreasonable doubt.
After listening to the plea of leniency by Rosolu’s lawyer, Bar Bamidele Ogundele, the judge sentenced her to 10 years imprisonment.
The judge noted that it was unfortunate that Rosolu who was supposed to promote the good image of the judiciary, turned around to dent it.
During her defence, the registrar said: “I did not receive $330,000 from Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi neither did I go to the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons to see him on Dec. 20, 2004,” she claimed while giving evidence before the court.
Led in evidence by the defence counsel, Mr Bamidele Ogundele, Rosolu said that she had never met Bamaiyi and Ajudua prior to her arrest by the EFCC.
“I knew Bamaiyi and Ajudua only as defendants in separate criminal cases before Justice Oyewole. I never had any personal interactions with either of them until I was summoned by the EFCC in Abuja in 2013,” she said.
Rosolu claimed that she was confronted by Bamaiyi and a prison official, ACP Garba Abdullahi while in the custody of the anti-graft agency in Abuja over the alleged fraud.
“Bamaiyi and Abdullahi confronted me at the EFCC office claiming that money was given to me in a ‘Ghana must go’ bag. I told them it wasn’t me and I had never been to the prison,” she said.
Earlier during the trial, the Lagos State Controller of Prisons, Mr Vincent Ubi, told the court that it was against prison policy to bring foreign currency to the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons.
Ubi who was a Deputy Controller of Prisons from 2004 to 2006 at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons when Bamaiyi and Ajudua were in custody made the claim while giving evidence as a key witness for the defence during the trial.
“We don’t accept dollars in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons.
“Any money brought for a detainee is taken to the Records Department and such money needs my approval before such money can be released to a detainee.
“Most times, the detainees need such monies to pay their lawyers,” Ubi said.
He said he never encountered Rosolu during time he spent working as a senior prison official at the prison.
“No visitor can come into Kirikiri Maximum Prisons without my approval.
“I have never seen the defendant before at the prison,” Ubi said.
The EFCC had insisted that Rosolu was an accomplice in the crime and called several witnesses to buttress its case.

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