Aleged fraud: Ex-JAMB registrar, Ojerinde to pay N100,000 fine for delaying trial - OPID News

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Friday, 8 October 2021

Aleged fraud: Ex-JAMB registrar, Ojerinde to pay N100,000 fine for delaying trial

Aleged fraud: Ex-JAMB registrar, Ojerinde to pay N100,000 fine for delaying trial

Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, ex-JAMB registrar

Former registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde has been ordered to pay a N100, 000 fine in a suit against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The fine was slammed on him by the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday after he pleaded for another adjournment to be considered thereby delaying trial commencement.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu fined the ex-JAMB boss after counsel to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Ebenezer Shogunle, prayed for it.

Shogunle requested the fine in favour of one of the commission’s witnesses, who traveled from Ibadan to testify in the money laundering trial in Abuja.

The ICPC lawyer after the case was called told the court that the matter was slated for commencement of trial and that three of the ICPC’s witnesses were in court.

However, the new counsel to the former JAMB boss, Dr Doyin Awoyale, said his chamber was just being briefed to take over the matter and that he would need a little time to study the case.

It led to Dr. Awoyale requesting for more time to allow them to get familiarised with the matter.

The ICPC counsel, however, opposed the request saying one of the three ICPC’s witnesses, “traveled from Ibadan to be in court today.”

He argued further that this would be the third time Ojerinde would be requesting for an adjournment in the matter.

“At the last adjourned date, my Lord even warned that all parties should prepare for trial today,” he added.

Afterward, the ICPC lawyer asked the court to make an order for the defendant to pay one of the witnesses’ expenses as provided for under Sections 251 and 252 of ACJA (Administration of Criminal Justice A t).”

Prof. Ojerinde’s counsel disagreed with the prayer arguing that the law provided that the defendant should be afforded enough time to prepare for his defence. He said the sections of the law cited were not applicable owing to the antecedence of the matter.

Justice Egwuatu, while speaking noted that when lawyers complain that the wheel of justice does not go fast, the blame is often shifted on the judges.

The judge narrated how the defendant had sought for an adjournment on three different occasions.

He said the defendant had all the time to prepare for his defence, and should he failed to do so, it was nobody’s fault.

The ex-JAMB registrar lawyer eventually agreed to the fine but urged the court to adjourn the matter in the interest of justice.

The Judge ordered the defence to pay the witness who traveled from Ibadan the sum of N100, 000 on or before Oct. 11, and adjourned the matter until Feb. 8 and Feb. 9 for trial commencement.

Back in September, Prof. Ojerinde sought for an adjournment to enable him engage another lawyer in his trial. Before he engaged Dr. Doyin Awoyale, Peter Olorunnisola, SAN, had been appearing for the ex-JAMB boss.

The ICPC, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/97/21, said that the former chief executive officer allegedly committed multiple frauds, while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).

Justice Egwuatu had, on July 8, admitted Ojerinde to bail in the sum of N200 million with two sureties.

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