The trial of Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, a former Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, was postponed by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday till June 20.
Following an oral application for an adjournment by ICPC counsel Ebenezer Shogunle, Justice Obiora Egwuatu put the matter on hold to give the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission time to clean up its act.
Ojerinde’s attorney, Eteya Ogana, informed the court during the resumed hearing on Thursday that a motion had been filed opposing the ex-JAMB boss’s re-arrest and requesting a court order for his release.
He claimed that the anti-corruption commission unlawfully detained his client once more.
However, the judge was unable to locate the procedure in the court file.
The attorney acknowledged the error and stated that FHC/ABJ/CR/74/21 was incorrectly entered in the application as the charge number rather than FHC/ABJ/CR/97/21, which caused confusion in the file.
In response, the attorney for the ICPC stated that the defendant had already applied for parole before Justice Inyang Ekwo, a sister judge where Ojerinde is also on trial alongside his children.
Additionally, he added that the commission had a warrant to effect Ojerinde’s re-arrest even though the application might have been in the court file.
“I will request that My Lord examine the warrant used to re-arrest him.”
Therefore, the ICPC attorney requested a postponement so that the commission could gather its witnesses for the trial, giving the court the impression that there were still three witnesses who needed to give testimony.
Recall that on July 8, 2021, the ICPC charged Ojerinde with 18 counts related to the misappropriation of N5 billion in public funds when he served as the Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board.
Ojerinde, however, entered a not guilty plea to all counts and was subsequently granted bail in the amount of N200 million.
However, on January 26, shortly after the hearing, ICPC agents detained him again on the court grounds.
The fourth prosecution witness, the late Jimoh Olabisi, who passed away on April 16, claimed that his re-arrest was related to new information coming from his continuing trial.