By Taiye Agbaje
Mr JImoh Olabisi, former Deputy Director, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), on Thursday, alleged that Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, ex-JAMB Registrar, opened different fictitious bank accounts while in service to conceal his identity.
Olabisi, the 4th prosecution witness (PW4) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), told Justice Obiora Egwuatu of a Federal High Court, Abuja.
He also alleged that the former JAMB registrar awarded fictitious and inflated contracts to some of the companies belonging to his (Ojerinde’s) friend, Mr Olowodola Benjamin Deinde.
The witness made the allegations during a re-examination by the ICPC’s lawyer, Ebenezer Shogunle.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PW4, while being cross-examined by Ojerinde’s counsel, Ibrahim Ishyaku, SAN, on Wednesday, admitted opening an account in the name of JAMB/J.O. Olabisi in a commercial bank on the instruction of Ojerinde through which funds were moved out from government’s coffer.
Upon resumed hearing on Thursday, Shogunle made an oral application for re-examination of Olabisi in order to clarify some issues raised during the cross examination, even though the witness had already been discharged from witness box the previous day, and Ishyaku did not object.
The ICPC lawyer thereafter requested for Exhibits Z, Z1, Z2, Z3 and Z4 from where he intended to reexamined the witness.
Olabisi said though in Exhibits Z and Z1, he made the payment of N25 million and N50 million respectively, no date was indicated in the exhibits.
Shogunle then asked him what were the dates.
“I paid the sum of 25 million on the directive of the defendant (Ojerinde) on February 2008 and N50 million same Feb 2008.
“It was gotten from the fictitious contracts and inflated contracts awarded to some of the companies of the defendant’s friend in the name of Mr Olowodola Benjamin Deinde,” he said.
The witness said payments for the fictitious and inflated contracts were paid with Sapati International School cheque book of the Ilorin First Bank Branch with account number: 2030001939 and that Ojerinde was the sole signatory of the account.
“I need to stress here my lord that even though the defendant is the sole signatory, the mandate name in that account was not his real name but one Akanbi Lamide, just a way of concealing his real identity,” he alleged.
He said that the ex-JAMB boss also opened fictitious bank accounts for other companies of his.
“Like StandOut Institute, he is the sole signatory with fictitious name on the bank mandate card.
“The fictitious names are Adeniyi Banji and Ayanwale Olamide.
“The same thing happened In Trillion Learning Centre. All the accounts opened had the defendant as sole signatories but not his real name.
“The name on the bank mandate card was Olakulehin Joshua Olaniran with fake passport photograph of Olaniran and forged Identity Card and the defendant was the sole signatory,” he said
When the lawyer asked him how he managed the Sapati International School and Trillion Learning Centre accounts since Ojerinde was the sole signatory, he said: “The cheque books were with me and any time there was payment, I will just write and the defendant will sign.
“In most cases, all those cheques, you will see my handwriting and this had been the practice.”
Olabisi told the court that the payments in Exhibits Z and Z1 did not come from JAMB/J.O. Olabisi account, which he opened on the instruction of Ojerinde.
But Ishyaku, who appeared for Ojerinde, prayed the court for an order expunging all that the witness said from the court record.
The senior lawyer argued that what Olabisi said was not part of the proof of evidence served on them by the anti-corruption commission.
“Moreover, the witness had earlier said under cross examination and my lord read this this morning,” he said.
However, Shogunle insisted that what the witness said was part of the proof of evidence.
Justice Egwuatu adjourned the matter until Feb. 15 for trial continuation.(NAN)