Revealed: Female court staff who allegedly defrauded Bamaiyi in prison | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Revealed: Female court staff who allegedly defrauded Bamaiyi in prison

Posted: Apr 23, 2015 at 12:13 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Judith Eshemitan  – Lagos

Mallam Garba Abdulahi, an Assistant Controller of Prisons (ACP) has identified Ms Rosulu Aderonke Idowu as an accomplice who allegedly aided Chief Fred Ajudua, a Lagos State socialite in swindling a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd) of his 330,000 US dollars, originally meant for legal fees.

Abdulahi revealed this while testifying on Wednesday before an Ikeja High Court, presided over by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, at the ongoing trial of a two-count charge preferred against Rosulu, a Lagos High court registrar.

The ACP, who was led in evidence by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Seidu Atteh, disclosed that he met the defendant at the Kirikiri maximum prison, where he was a prison officer at the time, explaining how the defendant on three occasions visited Ajudua and Bamaiyi in the prison.

Bamaiyi had during Monday’s proceeding, told the court that on November 20, 2004 when the defendant (Rosulu) visited the prison for 3rd time, $330,000 (33 bundle of $100USD) kept in a red ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ bag was handed over to her, which Ajudua allegedly sent his boy, Jonathan, to pick from the prison.

Also confirming Bamaiyi’s claim, ACP Garba informed the court that on the third visit, Rosulu and Jonathan, Ajudua’s boy carried a red “Ghana-Must-Go” bag containing $330,000 out of the prison, after counting the money in his presence.

ACP Garba maintained that the $330,000 was a 33 bundle of $100USD denomination, adding that the money only passed the gate of Kirikiri maximum prison but did not get inside the prison.

According to him, “on the 23rd October, 2004, one Mr. Kehinde introduced Aderonke to me when she visited Ajudua and Bamaiyi in the visiting room; the meeting lasted for about 15 minutes.

“On Nov 6, 2004, she visited Ajudua with her daughter. Ajudua, Bamaiyi, Kehinde and myself were all present at the meeting. Kehinde, myself and one Emmanuel Ejiofor conducted the meeting.

“On Nov 20, 2004, she came to visit Ajudua, General Bamaiyi entered the visiting room with a red ghana-must-go. I asked him the content of the bag and he replies me “Garuba, it’s money”, I asked him how much it is and he said $330,000. It was 33 bundles, each containing 10,000 US dollars.

“I asked the General what the money was meant for and he told me it was for lawyer’s fees. Since it’s for lawyer’s fees, I could not comment. Jonathan and Aderonke sat together with Bamaiyi and they all counted and repacked the money into the bag and they both took the money and left.”

But they met Ajudua on their way out, at the staircase, and he saw them off.”

While being cross examined by counsel to the defendant, Mr. Bamidele Ogundele, the witness claimed that he was present when money exchanged hands between Bamaiyi, Ajudua and Rosulu.

“I was present when Rosulu visited the prison three times in 2004. Specifically on the 23rd of October, and on the 6th and 20th of November.

Garba said that contrary to prison rule that requires that any cash brought in by inmates be duly recorded, the $330,000 did not pass through the prison records.

“As a prison official, I asked what the money was meant for and Bamaiyi replied that it is meant for legal fees.

He also added that there was however no written evidence that Rosulu (defendant) visited Bamaiyi and Ajudua in prison.

“I can recognise the defendant because she visited Bamaiyi thrice in the prison. Though people intending to visit special inmates like Bamaiyi are required to write applications and submit their passport photographs to be intensively verified before they can be allowed access, Rosulu somehow used the influence of Ajudua to visit Bamaiyi,” he said.

Rosulu is facing trial on a two-count charge of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence and obtaining money by false pretence.

EFCC alleged that Ajudua was able to defraud Bamaiyi by claiming to have close ties with Justice Oyewole, before whom Bamaiyi was standing trial.

The charge read in part: “Rosulu Idowu Oluronke, Fred Chijindu Ajudua, Alumile Adedeji a.k.a. Ade Bendel (still at large), one Mr. Jonathan (still at large), one Mr. Kenneth (still at large), Princess Hamabon William (still at large) and others still at large, on November 20, 2004, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $330,000 from retired Lieutenant General Ishaya Rizi Bamaiyi by falsely represented to Bamaiyi that the $330,000 was part payment for professional fees charged by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) to handle Bamaiyi’s case in court and to facilitate his (Bamaiyi) release from prison custody.”

According to EFCC, the offence was contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 13 of 1995 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.

Justice Lawal-Akapo however stressed the need for the matter to be concluded and adjourned till May 11 for continuation.