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How former JAMB boss, Dibu Ojerinde diverted NECO’s N341m to establish personal printing press, school: ICPC

A witness Jimoh Olatunde has said Prof Dibu Ojerinde allegedly diverted N341.9 million from the National Examination Council to establish a personal printing press.

Technocrat Media, Minna

A witness Jimoh Olatunde has said Prof Dibu Ojerinde allegedly diverted N341.9 million from the National Examination Council to establish a personal printing press.

According to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC), the witness made the revelation at the High Court of Niger State, in Minna of how a former Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojeriende, allegedly divertedN341.9 million from the National Examination Council (NECO) to set up a personal printing press, school, and buildings. 

Mr Olatunde, who testified before the trial judge, Justice Abdullahi Mikailu told the court that N216, 297.443 was deceitfully withdrawn from NECO account for payments for 17 fictitious printing contracts, which was in actual sense, used for establishing the printing press. 

He is the first witness brought to the court by ICPC, in a 10-count charge of official corruption and abuse of office brought against Mr Ojerinde.

Mr Olatunde a former deputy director who headed at NECO’s treasury said, “We follow due process for the award of the contracts strictly on paper but I am confirming to this court that I know what went on underneath despite perfection of all the documents and processes. 

“Let me give you an instance, between 2004/5 most printing contracts were awarded to these 17 companies owned by a friend of Prof. Dibu Ojerinde. He was the one in charge of all printing materials in NECO. “

“He brought a handwritten bill of N246, 914, 890 when he wanted to establish a printing press for Prof Dibu Ojeriende and I was directed to pay 87.6% amounting to N216, 297.443 only. We perfected all the documents through the award of fictitious contracts to the 17 companies.”

While being led in evidence by counsel to ICPC, Ebenezer Shogunle, the witness testified about the various properties he acquired in Minna for Ojerinde using different fronts including one Alhaji Muri Lamidi, and a fictitious address in Kontagora, Niger State.

He narrated further how a multiple storey building known as ‘Tejumola House’, Ojodu, Lagos, which was acquired in 2003, in the name of Doyin Ogbohi Industries Ltd from Intercontinental Bank for N27 million and Sapati International School, Ilorin, Kwara State, which was built at an initial contract sum of N98.6 million.

He said the assets were acquired with stolen public funds.

A total of 18 documents including correspondence addressed to the witness as ‘Client Representative’ by the various contractors used for the projects as well as Bills of Quantities were tendered and admitted in evidence.

The witness also tendered some documents to show that a number of shares in some blue-chip companies acquired for the former JAMB boss were transferred to ‘Madiba’s Trust’, an entity created to consolidate. 

During cross-examination by counsel to Defendant, Ibrahim Ishyaku (SAN), Mr Olatunde also tendered a list of 17 companies which he said were used to siphon funds from NECO to acquire some of the companies and assets for the benefit of Defendant. 

After a complaint of backache by the witness and further cross-examination by the defense counsel, the court adjourned till 7-8 March 2022 for continued hearing of the case.

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