Nigeria – The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) again Thursday 15th June, 2023 arraigned the former Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde over allegations bordering on official corruption, abuse of office and forgery.
Professor Ojerinde was docked alongside his children, Mary Funmilola Ojerinde, Olumide Abiodun Ojerinde, Adebayo Ojerinde, Oluwaseun Adeniyi Ojerinde and six companies linked to him, namely: Doyin Ogbohi Petroleum Limited, Cheng Marbles Limited, Sapati International Schools Limited, Trillium Learning Centre Limited, Standout Institutes Limited and Esli Perfect Security Printers Limited.
ICPC in a Charge No: FHC//ABJ/CR/119/2023, brought before Honourable Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court 7, sitting in Maitama, Abuja, informed the Court of the multiple layers of fraudulent identities and conspiracies designed by the defendants to conceal crimes.
In one count out of a 17-count charge, the Commission through its counsel, Mr. Ebenezer Shogunle, told the Court of how the former JAMB boss conspired with three of his children (Oluwaseun Adeniyi Ojerinde, Olumide Abiodun Ojerinde and Adebayo Ojerinde) to sell off property worth One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($150,000:00) situated at House No. 4 Ahomko Drive, Achimota Phase 2, Accra, Ghana even after the property had been forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Professor Ojerinde was also accused of incorporating the aforementioned companies and taking up simultaneous appointments as Chairman and Director, while being a public officer on full time appointment as Registrar/Chief Executive of National Examinations Council (NECO), Minna and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Bwari, knowing very well that the Code of Conduct for Public Officers forbids public officers from engaging in private business other than farming or participating in shareholding of joint stock companies.
The Court was also informed of how the 1st defendant (Ojerinde) in order to avoid various anti-corruption and anti-money laundering policies of government, notably Know Your Customer (KYC) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) policies, took measures to conceal his ownership and active participation in the management of some of these companies by using forged documents, stolen identities and synthetic names.
As a result of some of these acts, the former JAMB Registrar is also standing trial at the Niger State High Court as well as Federal High Court, Abuja for alleged corruption and other ancillary offences.
These actions, according to the ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua are contrary to, and punishable under sections 17, 19, 22 and 24 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and contrary to, and punishable under Section 1 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act, 2006 as well as contrary to, and punishable under Section 1 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17 of the Revised Laws of the Federation, 2007.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to them.
Bail was granted to the Ex-JAMB boss on terms earlier granted to him by the Federal High Court, Abuja, where he is standing trial while the four children were admitted bail in the sum of Twenty Million Naira (₦20,000,000) each and a surety in like sums who must have landed properties not below the value of the bail sum and within the jurisdiction of the Court.
The trial judge in handing down the bail conditions also ordered the other defendants to surrender their international passports to the Court and must not travel outside the country without recourse to the Court, and that the Nigeria Immigration Service be notified.
The matter was then adjourned to the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th of November 2023 for hearing.
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