Operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), have arrested Dibu Ojerinde, a former registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Jimoh Olabisi, former deputy director at JAMB, had alleged that the former registrar used him to divert federal government funds.
Olabisi, a witness of the ICPC, spoke at the federal high court in Abuja.
The ICPC had arraigned Ojerinde on July 6, 2021, on an 18-count charge bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of N5.2 billion.
The commission alleged that the former registrar committed multiple frauds while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).
Ojerinde pleaded not guilty to the allegations and was granted bail in the sum of N200 million.
It was learnt that Ojerinde was arrested in Abuja on Thursday at the premises of a federal high court.
He was leaving the court premises after the hearing of the case when he was picked up, a source said.
Olabisi told the court on Wednesday that he was in charge of opening accounts for JAMB and admitted to opening an account in the name of JAMB/J.O. Olabisi in a commercial bank on the instruction of Ojerinde.
He said it was through this account that funds were moved from the government’s coffers.
“The authority to open the account — the letter to the bank — was jointly signed by Ojerinde and the then director of finance and accounts (DFA), Mallam Umar Yakubu, with specific mandate that I should be the operator of that account,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“I explained in one of my appearances here that the account was opened following an agreement between the defendant (Ojerinde) and myself as a way of deviating from what we were using in National Examinations Council (NECO) to divert public funds.
“So, the defendant subsequently discussed the issue with the DFA, hence the letter.”
The witness said the account was opened without approval from Jonah Otunla, the then accountant-general of the federation.
“However, the registrar convinced the then DFA. He told him that he had gotten the approval of the AGF who happens to come from the same zone with the defendant,” he said.
Olabisi also said Ojerinde owned a microfinance bank, Osanta Microfinance Bank Ltd, while serving in government.
He also admitted to being a director at the bank.
“I was put there to ease the movement of government money to the bank. The defendant is the chairman, board of directors of the bank,” he said.
The witness also said the ex-JAMB registrar used his position to award contracts to his private companies through the Zenith Bank account number, 1012411301.
Obiora Egwuatu, the judge, adjourned the matter until Thursday for the continuation of trial after a motion by Ebenezer Shogunle, the ICPC lawyer.
In 2021, the court remanded the former registrar to a prison facility.