Professor Adedibu Ojerinde, whose trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja was about to begin on Tuesday, pleaded with the trial judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, to give him 24 hours to resolve his case with the ICPC through a plea bargain rather than a full trial.
His new lead counsel, Ibrahim Ishyaku, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), told the court that his client prefers an out of court settlement known as a plea bargain to resolve the matter.
The senior lawyer 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.”
ICPC lawyer, Mr Ebenezer Sogunle did not object to the request but insisted that the trial would proceed in case the plea bargain fails.
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.
He was said to have committed the offence during his tenure as Registrar of the National Examination Council (NECO) and JAMB.
Ojerinde however pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was later admitted to bail in the sum of N200 million.