N5bn fraud: Ex-JAMB registrar, Ojerinde, seeks plea bargain

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Former Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Adedibu Ojerinde, has opted for a plea bargain with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in the alleged N5 billion fraud case against him.

When the case came up for trial before the Abuja division of the  Federal High Court,  Ojerinde pleaded with Justice Obiora Egwuatu to give him 24 hours to settle himself with ICPC through plea bargain instead of formal trial.

His new lead counsel, Ibrahim Ishyaku (SAN), told the court that his client prefers an out of court settlement known as a plea bargain to resolve the matter.

The senior lawyer informed the judge that the trial could commence if after 24 hours, the matter could not be resolved.

“My Lord, our plea is that we be given 24 hours to explore the possibility of plea bargain to resolve this matter and we ask that the trial be adjourned for the period to enable us come up with our terms of settlement.”

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ICPC lawyer, Mr Ebenezer Sogunle, did not object to the request, but insisted that the trial would proceed in case the plea bargain failed.

The ICPC had, on July 8, 2021, arraigned the former JAMB registrar on an 18 count charge bordering on diversion of public funds to the tune of over N900 million.

He was said to have committed the offence during his tenure as Registrar of the National Examination Council (NECO) and JAMB.

Ojerinde, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was later admitted to bail in the sum of N200 million.

Meanwhile, Justice Egwuatu has fixed today, for a report of the plea bargain to be presented.

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