Judge upset as ICPC fails to bring ex-JAMB boss Ojerinde to court

Dibu Ojerinde

The Independent and Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Thursday had difficulty bringing former Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Prof. Dibu Ojerinde to the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Ojerinde, who is the sole defendant in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/97/21, is alleged to have committed fraud while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).

The court had on July 6 rejected the defendant’s bail plea after taking his plea on the 18-count charge bordering on abuse of office and fraud to the tune of N5 billion.

The rejection followed the argument of counsel to the prosecution, Ebenezer Shogunle, that his application for a “temporary bail” was unknown to the law.

The court then ordered the former JAMB registrar to be remanded in a correctional centre. The ICPC then took him to the Suleja Prison.

However, on Thursday, when the matter was called, Mr Shogunle apologised to the court that the officers of the Suleja Correctional Centre were yet to bring the defendant down to the court due to the distance and the traffic congestion along the road.

He prayed the court to stand down the matter for about 30 minutes or an hour.

Ojerinde’s counsel Peter Olorunnisola did not oppose the request and the judge stood down the matter for other cases to be heard.

However, after other matters on the cause list had been presided on, Justice Obiora Egwuatu asked if Ojerinde had been produced in the court room but Shogunle gave a negative answer.

The judge, who was unhappy over the development, said before leaving for his chambers: “I don’t take this. May be if you are not ready to prosecute the matter you should let us know. Court sits by 9am. Let this be the last time you will be doing this.”