A Federal High Court in Abuja, will, on July 8, hear the bail application filed by Prof. Dibu Ojerinde; a former Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), over an alleged N900m fraud.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu fixed the date today, Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
The judge fixed the new date after the court declined the oral application for bail by counsel to the ex-JAMB registrar, Peter Olorunisola, SAN.
Ojerinde is the sole defendant in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/97/21.
However, after the 18 counts were read to Ojerinde, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
“Having listened to his plea of not guilty, we shall be applying for a date for hearing the matter,” lawyer to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and Other Offences Commission (ICPC), who are the prosecutors said.
Although Olorunnisola said he was not objecting to Shogunle’s request; he informed the court that he had filed an application for bail on behalf of Ojerinde.
He said the application was filed June 29.
But the anti-corruption commission lawyer, who acknowledged the receipt of the bail application, opposed it. He told the court that a counter affidavit had been filed to that effect.
The defence lawyer, however, said that he was just being served with the counter affidavit by the prosecution; adding that he was yet to go through it.
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Consequently, he prayed the court to allow Ojerinde to continue to enjoy the initial bail granted him by another court pending the hearing of his formal bail application. Olorunnisola argued that his client would be appearing before a State High Court in Minna, Niger; in another matter the next day (on Wednesday), pledging that the defendant would always be available to stand his trial.
Besides, he said that Ojerinde’s travel documents were already in the custody of the Minna court, which granted him bail; assuring that the ex-JAMB registrar would not jump bail.
But Shogunle opposed the oral application
“We oppose the application for temporary bail. It is not a term known to the law,” he responded.
The ICPC lawyer said that if the defendant would be appearing before a Minna court the next day; the state had a facility to ensure his attendance in court.
Olorunnisola who countered Shogunle’s submission, said Section 165(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) gives the court a discretion to grant the bail.
In his ruling, Justice Egwuatu said having listened to the arguments of the parties; a short date would be fixed to hear the bail application. The judge, who adjourned the matter until July 8, ordered Ojerinde to remain in the custody of the anti-graft commission; pending the hearing of the bail plea.
Operatives of the anti-corruption commission had, on March 15, arrested Ojerinde in Abuja on allegations bordering on misappropriation of funds. Specifically, the commission alleged that JAMB CEO committed multiple frauds, while heading the Board and the National Examination Council (NECO).