By Fortune Eromosele, ABUJA
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, on Friday arraigned a former Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, over allegations bordering on money laundering to the tune of N5 billion.
He was arraigned alongside his three sons; Olumide Abiodun Ojerinde, Adedayo Ojerinde, Oluwaseun Adeniyi Ojerinde, and daughter-in-law, Mary Funmilola Ojerinde before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
However, Ojerinde’s companies were not spared and are currently facing a money laundering charge to the tune of N5 billion. The companies include: Doyin Ogbohi Petroleum Ltd, Cheng Marbles Ltd, Sapati International Schools Ltd, Trillium Learnings Centre Ltd and Standout Institutes Ltd.
The ICPC arraigned Ojerinde on July 6, 2021, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/97/2021, on an 18-count charge bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of N5.2 billion before Justice Obiora Egwuatu.
The Commission alleged that the former registrar committed multiple frauds while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).
He was said to have used his position as Registrar of JAMB to corruptly confer advantage on one Jimoh Olabisi Olatunde, a public officer, by instructing Zenith Bank Plc to open an account No. 1002833087 in the name of JAMB/J.O. Olabisi into which he allegedly diverted a cumulative sum of N2,769,083,044.04 (Two Billion, Seven Hundred and Sixty-Nine Million, Eighty Three Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty-Six Naira, Four Kobo).
However, he was re-arrested by officers of the ICPC in January 26, 2023, at the premises of a Federal High Court in Abuja and subsequently pleaded not guilty to the allegations and was granted bail in the sum of N200 million.
Fresh Charges, Re-arraignment Stalled
In a fresh charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/119/23, the ex-JAMB boss, his three sons and daughter-in-law were included.
At resumed proceedings today, re-arraignment of Ojerinde and other defendants was stalled due to ICPC’s failure to serve court processes and absence of other defendants in court.
Ojerinde and 10 others were to take their plea in an amended fraud-related charge filed by the ICPC. But the anti-graft agency’s lawyer, Henry Emore told the court that he was yet to serve court processes on eight to eleventh defendants in the case.
Based on the development, Justice Ekwo held that arraignment was only possible when all defendants have been duly served by the ICPC.
The trial judge said, “I give you 19th April for plea. If the defendants fail to come to court, there shall be consequences.”
Afterwards, Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the matter for plea to April 19, 2023.
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