By Nkasi Kolie
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday remanded the former registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, in prison custody.
He is currently being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for alleged acts of corruption.
His oral bail application was turned down by Justice Obiora Egwuatu, who ordered his remand in prison, after his arraignment.
In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/97/2021, the anti-corruption agency alleged that Ojerinde committed multiple frauds, while he held sway at JAMB. ICPC specifically accused him of complicity in the misappropriation of about N900 million belonging to the examination body.
He was arrested in March 2021 for allegedly misappropriating N900 million during his service as the JAMB and National Examination Council (NECO) registrar.
ICPC alleged that Ojerinde perpetrated the fraud from April 10, 2012 to August 1, 2016, and was the registrar of the NECO between 1999 and 2007.
The commission said the suspect was interrogated on various allegations of multiple identities, abuse of office, money laundering, tax evasion, making false statements, and awarding fraudulent contracts to untraceable Shell companies.
Regardless, after the charges were read out to him, he pleaded not guilty to all the 18-counts.
He further prayed the court, through his lawyer, Mr. Peter Olorunnishola, to release him on bail pending the conclusion of his trial.
Meanwhile, counsel to the ICPC, Ebenezer Shogunle, told the court that he filed a counter-affidavit to oppose Oyerinde’s bail application.
Following a request by the defence lawyer to be granted time to respond to the counter-affidavit, trial Justice Egwuatu adjourned the case till Wednesday.
The court rejected a plea by the defendant to be allowed to continue to enjoy the administrative bail the ICPC earlier granted to him.
In his ruling, Justice Egwuatu ordered that he should be kept in a correctional facility, pending the determination of his bail application.