According to Tribune, the former Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Adedibu Ojerinde, standing trial in an alleged N5 billion fraud, on Tuesday, opted for a plea bargain with the Independent Corrupt Practices (ICPC) and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) to get a soft landing.
It was said that at the Federal High Court in Abuja where his trial was scheduled to commence and Ojerinde pleaded with the trial Judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu to give him 24 hours to settle himself with the ICPC through plea bargain instead of a formal trial.
Ojerinde’s lead counsel, Ibrahim Ishyaku (SAN) told the court that his client prefers an out-of-court settlement known as a plea bargain in resolving the matter instituted against him by the ICPC.
He informed the Judge that the trial could commence if, after 24 hours, the matter could not be resolved.
“My Lord, our plea is that we be given 24 hours to explore the possibility of a plea bargain to resolve this matter and we ask that the trial be adjourned for the period to enable us to come up with our terms of the settlement”.
It was also gathered that the counsel to the ICPC, Ebenezer Sogunle did not object to the request but insisted that the trial would proceed in case the plea bargain fails.
Justice Egwuatu, after listening to submissions of counsel, fixed February 9, 2022, for the report on the plea bargain to be presented.
It would be recalled that the ICPC had, on July 8, 2021, arraigned the former JAMB Registrar on an 18-count charge bordering on diversion of public funds to the tune of over N900 million.
According to Tribune, he was said to have committed the offense during his tenure as Registrar of the National Examination Council (NECO) and JAMB.
Ojerinde, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was admitted to bail in the sum of N200 million.