Alleged N5bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Former JAMB Boss Trial To June 20

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Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday, adjourned the trial of former Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, to June 20.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had on July 8, 2021, arraigned the former JAMB chief on an 18-count charge bordering on diversion of public funds to the tune of N5 billion.

The commission alleged that Ojerinde committed the offence during his tenure as registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO) and JAMB.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N200 million.

But the defendant was re-arrested within the court premises by the ICPC operatives on January 26.

Ojerinde’s re-arrest followed the emergence of fresh facts on the matter.

At Thursday’s proceeding, the judge adjourned the matter to enable the ICPC to put its house in order on the case.

The development followed an oral application for an adjournment by ICPC’s counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle.

Ojerinde’s lawyer, Eteya Ogana, told the court that a motion had been filed challenging the re-arrest of the ex-JAMB boss and demanded his release.

He alleged that his client was re-arrested by the commission without an arrest warrant.

However, the judge could not find the process in the court record.

Ogana later admitted that the mistake emanated from them.

He added that the defence team erroneously used a wrong charge number in filing the motion.

The lawyer said: “Instead of putting charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/97/21 in the application, we erroneously wrote FHC/ABJ/CR/74/21 leading to a mix-up in the filing.”

But Shogunle argued that the application had been overtaken by events.

He also insisted that the commission had a warrant to effect Ojerinde’s re-arrest.
“I will want my lord to inspect that warrant leading to his re-arrest,” the ICPC counsel said.

He, therefore, sought an adjournment to enable the commission to assemble its witnesses for the trial.