Alleged Fraud: ICPC’s Failure To Serve Court Processes Stalls Re-Arraignment Of Ex-JAMB Registrar, Others
The Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) could not re-arraign former Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, before Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, on Friday.
Today was fixed for Ojerinde and 10 others 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.
Subsequently, the judge adjourned the arraignment to April 19, 2023.
“I give you 19th April for plea,” Ekwo said while directing all defendants to be present in court.
“If the defendants fail to come to court, there shall be consequences,” Ekwo held.
THE WHISTLER earlier reported that Ojerinde and others were on July 6, 2021, arraigned before Justice Obiora Egwuatu by the ICPC on an 18-count charge bordering on alleged N5b fraud.
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).
The professor had pleaded not guilty to the charges, paving way for his trial.
Ojerinde had previously tried negotiate a plea bargain between with the ICPC but it failed.
He was rearrested at the premises of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on January 26, 2023 by officers of the ICPC following a bench warrant obtained from the court after new developments and fresh facts regarding the allegations against him.