Court grants ex-JAMB chief N200 million bail

A Nigerian anti-corruption agency, ICPC, has secured an interim forfeiture of properties traced to a former Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Dibu Ojerinde.

A federal high court in Abuja has granted bail to Adedibu Ojerinde, former registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in the sum of N200 million.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) arraigned Ojerinde on Tuesday in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/97/2021, on an 18-count charge bordering on misappropriation of funds to the tune of N900 million.

The commission alleged that the former registrar committed multiple frauds while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).

The court had fixed July 8 to hear the bail application after Ojerinde pleaded not guilty.

At the resumed session on Thursday, Peter Olorunnishola, defendant counsel, asked the court to grant his client bail pursuant to section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and section 35(1) of the constitution.

But, Ebenezer Shogunle, the prosecution counsel, opposed the bail application.

According to him, the defendant breached the administrative bail conditions granted to him by the ICPC.

Shogunle said the defendant refused to bring his family members for interrogation which was one of the bail conditions.

He also claimed that at the time when some persons were invited for questioning, Ojerinde agreed to a plea bargain in order to stall the investigation.

He also claimed that the defendant is likely to interfere with the investigation and intimidate witnesses.

However, Obiora Egwuatu, the judge, held that those were not conditions for bail.

The judge also said there is no evidence before the court to prove that the defendant jumped administrative bail or would intimidate witnesses.

Ruling on the application, the judge said: “Bail is granted to the applicant in the sum of N200 million and two sureties in like sum.

“The sureties must be resident in Abuja, provide an acceptable means of identification and evidence of tax payment for three years.

“One of the sureties shall be a professor in a federal university, provide documented evidence of professorship, letter of appointment and staff identity card.

“Second surety shall be a property owner in the federal capital territory (FCT) of Abuja. The building must be covered with a certificate of occupancy which will be deposited with the registrar of this court.

“The residences of the sureties shall be verified, pictures of the residences showing the street name and number shall be exhibited.”

The court also ordered that the international passport of the defendant be retrieved from another court in Niger state where he is also standing trial, and deposited with the registrar of the federal high court.

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