A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail at N200million for a former Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Adedibu Ojerinde, who is charged with alleged diversion of about N5.2billion public funds.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu admitted Ojerinde to bail in a ruling he delivered after listening to arguments from lawyers to the defence and prosecution.
Justice Egwuatu noted that bail is at the discretion of the court, adding that there is no evidence before him why the defendant should not be admitted to bail.
He ordered the defendant to produce two sureties in like sum, whom must be residents of Abuja and show evidence of tax payment.
One of the sureties, the Judge held, must be a Professor of a university while the other must own landed property with title documents in Abuja, which must be verified by the court along with operatives of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).
He said, in addition, the Professor, must provide documented evidence of professorship, letter of appointment and staff identity card.
As against the argument by the lawyer to the prosecution, Ebenezer Shogunle, Justice Egwuatu said there was no evidence before the court to prove that the defendant jumped administrative bail, could interfere with investigation or intimidate witnesses.
He added the prosecution has already concluded its investigation of the matter before filing the charge.
Justice Egwuatu adjourned till July 22 and 23 for trial.
Arguing the bail application, Ojerinde’s lawyer, Peter Olorunishola (SAN), urged the court to grant his client bail pursuant to Section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and Section 35(1) of the Constitution.
Shogunle objected and argued that the defendant had breached the administrative bail conditions granted to him by the ICPCm
The prosecuting lawyer added that the defendant will interfere with investigation as well as intimidate witnesses.
Ojerinde was arraigned on July 6 on an 18-count charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/97/2021, in which he was accused, among others, of complicity in the diversion of public funds estimated at over N5.2billion.
The prosecuting agency – the ICPC – claimd Ojerinde committed the alleged offences, contained in the charge, between from when he served as the Registrar of the National Examination Council (NECO), though his years in JAMB, till 2021.