Court admits Prof. Ojerinde to N200m bail over an alleged N900m fraud

Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court Abuja on Thursday admitted  Prof. Lawrence Adedibu Ojerinde, former Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to bail in the sum of N200m.

The court in it ruling on application for ordered that Ojerinde must bring two sureties who must be resident in Abuja.

Justice Egwuatu also ordered that the sureties must show evidence of their tax payment in the last 3 years.
The court further ruled that one of the sureties must be a University Professor, while the other must resident within Abuja.

The sureties must tender verifiable resident addresses.

The trial judge in admitting Prof Ojerinde bail, ordered that he must tender his international passport to the Federal High Court.

The court said a certified true of the international passport must be collected from the High Court Minna and submitted to the Federal High Court.

Ojerinde was remanded in custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service (Prison) Suleja, after his arraignment on Tuesday.

The prosecuting agency, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), alleged that Prof Ojerinde committed multiple frauds to the tune of N900million while he was at the head of JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).

Ojerinde was arrested in Abuja, on March 15, 2021 by operatives of ICPC who  arraigned before Justice Egwuatu on 18 counts charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/97/2021.
 He had pleaded not guilty to the charges  against him by the Federal Government agency.
The prosecution counsel had on Tuesday informed the court before Ojerinde took plea that concerted effort by the former JAMB and NECO boss to secure plea bargain had failed.

At a resumed sitting on Thursday, defence counsel Peter Olorunnisola, SAN, informed the court of his client’s bail application dated and filed on June 29.
He said the application was brought pursuant to sections, 35 and 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended as well as section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015; and urged the court to grant the applicant bail.
The prosecution counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle opposed the bail application having filed a 7-paragraph counter affidavit as well as a written address in support and exhibits to tendered during the course of trial.
He urged the court to refuse the application, even though he admitted that Ojerinde was granted administrative bail by the ICPC.
Shogunle submitted that Prof Ojerinde violated the administrative bail condition granted him.
In addition, he told the court that if released on bail, Ojerinde has the tendency to jeopardize investigation.