In Nigeria, it is no longer rare to hear news about the arrests and court cases of corrupt government officials turned criminals. Several of them are making the headlines these days, with the latest addition being an ex-JAMB registrar, Dibu Ojerinde.
What did Ojerinde do?
Dibu Ojerinde, former ex-JAMB registrar [Premium Times]
On June 16, 2023, Ojerinde and three of his kids were arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for trying to sell off $150,000 worth of property in Accra, Ghana. This was even after it was forfeited to the Nigerian government.
Ojerinde, in particular, was also accused of incorporating six companies using forged documents and stolen identities.
Their offences fell contrary to sections 7, 19, 22, and 24 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
Also, some of the offences were contrary to, and punishable under Section 1 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act, 2006.
As shocking as Ojerinde’s crimes are, it might shock you that this isn’t the first time the ICPC will hold him by the neck. In fact, he has multiple criminal charges in his closet.
Let’s get into some of them:
2017 – Ojerinde gets probed on JAMB remittance
2017 was the beginning of Ojerinde’s many criminal accusations.
Ojerinde served in the capacity of JAMB registrar from 2007 to 2016. According to former Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, the highest amount ever remitted during his tenure was N3 million.
The year after he left (2017), his successor, Ishaq Oloyede started to remit funds worth N5 billion!
This made council members wonder—where was all this money before?
2020 – Ojerinde is accused of buying assets with public funds
In 2020, the ICPC seized Ojerinde’s properties in Kwara, Abuja, Oyo, and Ghana for being “excessive”.
This simply means that the value of the assets didn’t match his income. This made the judge suspect that the assets were acquired with public funds.
March 2021 – Ojerinde is arrested on allegations of N900 million embezzlement
In 2021, the ICPC arrested Ojerinde for misappropriating N900 million of public funds.
According to ICPC Spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, there were also several allegations of multiple identities, abuse of office, money laundering, tax evasion, and making false statements to public officials. This was during his tenure as JAMB and NECO registrar.
July 2021 – Ojerinde is arraigned over N5 billion fraud
On July 8, 2021, the ICPC arraigned Ojerinde on 18 counts of diversion of public funds during his tenure as JAMB registrar — now to the tune of N5 billion.
Ojerinde, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Later, he was admitted on bail of N200 million.
The case was reopened on January 26 due to fresh evidence and was adjourned in May to June 20.
What’s next for Ojerinde?
For Ojerinde, the judge, Inyang Ekwo, has granted bail based on earlier terms by the Federal High Court of Abuja.
His four kids will get N20 million bail and offer surety in the form of N20 million worth of property in Abuja.
They also confiscated their passports in case they wanted to flee the country.
What would happen next? Will justice prevail? We have no choice but to wait and see.