Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an ordered compelling former Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Adedibu Ojerinde to pay N100,000 as fine for stalling court proceedings.
The presiding judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu in his judgement ruled that Ojerinde pay the said fine to the prosecution team on the grounds that he has continued to stall his trial on allegations bordering on mismanagement of public funds to the tune of N5.2 billion.
This was sequel to an adjournment application filed by Ojerinde’s legal counsel, Doyin Awoyale. Awoyale had prayed the court to grant the adjournment application on the grounds that he, alongside other members of the legal team were just being briefed on the court case. He argued that he needed time to examine the case.
Recall that the former legal counsel to Ojerinde, Peter Olorunishola (SAN), had withdrew from the cases on September 30. Olorunishola had said that his decision to withdraw from the case was hinged on getting time to address some issues surrounding the payment of his professional fees.
Meanwhile, at the commencement of court proceedings on Friday, the new legal team of the former JAMB boss pleaded for more time to familiarise themselves with the case.
However, the lead prosecuting lawyer, Ebenezer Shogunle, rejected the adjournment application as he prayed the court to commence trial following the presence of three witnesses provided by his team in court.
Shogunle argued that the last three adjournments have been at the instance of defendant. He further prayed that the court should order the defendant to pay the prosecution witness’ expenses in line with the Section 251 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), should the adjournment application be considered.
Following arguments from both parties, Justice Egwuatu granted the defence’s prayer for an adjournment and also granted the order compelling the defendant to pay N100,000 to the prosecution, as witness’ expenses, on or before October 11.
The judge then adjourned till February 8, 2021 for the commencement of trial.