​Alleged N5.2bn fraud: Court grants ex-JAMB registrar Ojerinde bail

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday has granted the bail application of a former Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof Adedibu Ojerinde.

The court granted him bail in the sum of N200 million with two sureties in like sum.

According to bail terms, one surety must be a professor in a Federal University and the other must be a property owner in Abuja. The court also stated that their residences must be verified.

The court also ordered that Ojerinde must deposit his passport with the court registrar.

The matter was adjourned to July 22 and 23 for trial.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu made the order after the court resumed sitting to rule on the bail application after the case was stood down a second time.

The court had stood down the matter the first time after it was called up but Ojerinde was not yet produced in court for the hearing of his bail.

The Prosecution lawyer, Ebenezer Shogunle, informed the court that Ojerinde was on his way to court but was delayed by traffic.

Shogunle applied to the court to stand down the matter until Ojerinde makes it to court.

The Defense Counsel, Peter Olorunnishola (SAN), was not opposed to the application. Thus, the court stood down the matter and proceeded to take other cases on the cause list.

After the court had concluded with other matters listed for the day, Ojerinde was still not in court.

Justice Egwuatu, who was displeased with the situation, admonished the parties that the court sits by 9 in the morning and they should ensure they are in the court on time.

Consequently, the court had to rise.
Ojerinde, who was looking frail, was supported to the dock as it appeared he could not walk unaided.

Ojerinde’s lawyer, Olorunnishola moved his motion praying the court to grant his client bail. He moved the motion in terms of the motion paper.

The Prosecution’s lawyer, Shogunle, opposed the bail application. He argued that while Ojerinde was in their custody, they granted him administrative bail, but that he breached it.

Shogunle pointed the court to paragraph 5 (e, f, g) of his counter-affidavit.
He also asserted that other investigations were still ongoing and the witnesses in the investigations were subject to the influence of Ojerinde.

He also argued that the claim of ill-health which Ojerinde was relying on as a ground for the bail application was not supported by a medical report.

Ojerinde’s lawyer responded that they have filed their reply to the prosecution’s counter-affidavit and also added that the prosecution had concluded their investigation which was why they had charged Ojerinde to court.

Recall that Justice Obiora Egwuatu on Tuesday had ordered that the former JAMB boss, Ojerinde, be remanded in prison pending the hearing of his bail application.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the order after the former JAMB boss was arraigned on an 18-count bordering on alleged fraud and diversion of public funds to the tune of N5.2 billion.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/97/2021, Ojerinde was alleged to have committed the offence during his time as the Registrar of the National Examination Council and JAMB.

While taking his plea, Ojerinde had pleaded not guilty.

Source: Punch

Fight banditry, insurgency, not Kanu, Umar tells FG

A former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (retd.), on Wednesday knocked the All Progressives Congress and Federal Government led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) for giving undue attention to the arrest of leader of Kanu than the banditry, kidnapping ravaging the country.

Umar argued that it was disturbing that rather than concentrating on insecurity threatening to cripple the country, the Buhari regime was celebrating the arrest the IPOB leader.

The former governor stated this in a statement titled, ‘Nigeria: A nation challenged.’

Recall that Umar lost his commission in the Nigerian Army as a result of his principled stance on the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election acclaimed to be won by the late Chief MKO Abiola.

He said on Wednesday that the Federal Government must go beyond the arrest of the Kanu and pay more attention to more security challenges threatening to cripple Nigeria.

Umar argued that for the average northerners living in the North-West and North-East, who had been affected by the activities of banditry, kidnapping and insurgency, the arrest of Kanu had no consequence, “since it does nothing to ameliorate his harsh and brutal condition.”

He said, “The re-arrest of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, elicited congratulatory messages to the Federal Government which appears overwhelmed by the intractable security challenges and in dire need of any redeeming act.

“This is clearly an exaggeration of the security threat Nnamdi Kanu and indeed IPOB pose to our nation’s security and unity. It is quite strange and disturbing that the Federal Government is paying undue attention to the threats of separatist movements in contrast to the more daunting ones posed by bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the North West, some parts of North-Central and North-East.”

He lamented those activities of “those criminals have resulted in the evacuation of over 20 per cent the villages in the North-West and North-East. Hundreds are being murdered and maimed every week. Many more are kidnapped for ransom.”

He said, “Over 1,000 schoolchildren were abducted in the past eight months with over 300 still in the hands of the bandits and kidnappers who are demanding humongous ransom. Rape of women and young girls has become a daily occurrence. Most economic activities, particularly farming, the mainstay of the people in these areas, are now all but impossible.”

Umar counselled the government to deploy non-violent means in addressing the growing restiveness in the South-East of the country.

He, however, noted that “IPOB and its leader may well be responsible for some of the violence, including the murder of security personnel, arson and destruction of public and private properties for which they should be held to account.”
While touching on the unity of the country, the former governor argued that Nigeria was better as one and indivisible entity than disintegration.
The former governor carpeted the Buhari regime for not processing the skills in the management of the nation’s diversity.

“Truth be told, the Buhari administration has so far exhibited poor skills in its management of our diversity. Yet it has the benefit of great examples by past administrations and statesmen which should guide it,” Umar said.
Malami lambasts Canadian justice minister.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has described the views of the Solicitor General of Alberta in Canada, Kelechi Amadi, regarding the arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, as an “outrageously ignoramus opinion that is eccentric and weird.”

Malami, on Wednesday in a statement by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Office of the AGF, Umar Gwandu, insisted that there was no illegality in the arrest of Kanu, saying, “It was abundantly clear that bench warrant was lawfully and judiciously procured through judicial process by a competent court of law, whose bail condition Nnamdi Kanu breached with impunity. There was no illegality in the entire process and the question of illegality does not even arise.”

Malami wondered why Madu never spoke up when Kanu was inciting violence against Nigeria.

The AGF urged the Canadian public officer to educate himself in matters of the law, adding that Madu only left for Canada after failing to succeed in his country of birth.

Source: Punch