On Wednesday, The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned the trial of former Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, until October 8.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu fixed the date, following Ojerinde’s decision to change his counsel.
Prior to his decision, Peter Olorunnisola, SAN, had been appearing for the ex-JAMB boss in the money laundering charge preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/97/21, said that the former chief executive officer allegedly committed multiple frauds while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).
Recall that the ICPC had, on March 15, arrested the former chief executive officer on allegations bordering on misappropriation of funds (alleged N900 million fraud).
Justice Egwuatu had, on July 8, admitted Ojerinde to bail in the sum of N200 million with two sureties.
Egwuatu, who granted Ojerinde’s prayer after taking the arguments of counsel to the parties in the matter, said one of the sureties must be a professor in a federal university.
He ruled that the professor must provide documented evidence of professorship, letter of appointment and staff identity card.
Egwuatu also said that the other surety must own a landed property in Abuja worth the bail sum and must be verified by the court registrar, among others.
However, when the matter was called for commencement, Itieubong Usoro, who held brief for Olorunnisola, notified the court of the decision of Ojerinde to disengage the present chamber from his matter.
Usoro hinted that Ojerinde and Olorunnisola were yet to harmonise on some issues, particularly about professional fees, in order for the former lawyer to formally withdraw from the matter.
He then sought an adjournment to enable the issues to be resolved.
The ICPC lawyer, Ebenezer Shogunle, said though the defendant was entitled to seek an adjournment, this should not be used to delay the trial.
“In the last adjourned date, the prosecution was in court with three witnesses and trial was adjourned at the instance of the defendant who complained of ill-health.
“As my lord is mindful to adjourn this matter to enable the defendant to resolve any matter he has with his counsel, we want the court to take cognisance of Section 396 of ACJA (Administration of Criminal Justice Act) which allows for day-to-day trial,” he said.
The judge, who adjourned the matter until October 8 for commencement of trial, ordered the prosecution to come to court with its witnesses, NAN reports