October 22, 2021

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N900m fraud: Court rejects Ojerinde’s plea bargain

The Federal High Court, Abuja has rejected the plea bargain application by the former Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation (JAMB), Dibu Ojerinde in the N900 million fraud allegation leveled against him.

The operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had, on March 15, arrested Ojerinde, in Abuja, over 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).

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

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.

However, Shogunle, who had already been served with a copy of the process, disagreed with 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 Obiora Egwuatu held that since the 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.