N900m Fraud: Ex-JAMB registrar denied plea bargain

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) will, on July 6, arraign a former registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, for an alleged N900 million fraud.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu fixed the date on Monday, after ICPC counsel Ebenezer Shogunle disagreed with the terms of the plea bargain application brought before the court by the defence counsel, P.A.O. Olorunnisola, SAN.

The operatives of the anti-corruption outfit had, on March 15, arrested Mr Ojerinde in Abuja on allegations bordering on misappropriation of funds.

The commission said that the former chief executive officer allegedly committed multiple frauds while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).

In suit number CR/97/21 filed before the court, Mr Ojerinde is the sole defendant.

When the matter was called for arraignment, the defendant counsel, Mr Olorunnisola, told the court that arrangements were being made for a plea bargain.

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However, Mr Shogunle, who had already been served with a copy of the process, disagreed with Mr Olorunnisola’s submission, saying the Commission was not in agreement with the terms in the application.

Citing an authority to back his submission, the senior lawyer argued that the application for a plea bargain before arraignment was in conformity with the provisions of the law.

Justice Egwuatu held that since the prosecution was not in agreement with the terms put forward by the defence, a written correspondence should be filed to the effect.

The judge then adjourned the matter until July 6 for arraignment.

A plea bargain is an arrangement between prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence or an agreement to drop other charges.

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