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Dibu Ojerinde, Sons, Daughter-In-Law Docked

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The Federal Government on Thursday in Abuja put Professor Lawrence Adedibu Ojerinde, his three sons, and a daughter-in-law on trial for allegedly disposing of the property of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Ghana.

The accused, who were all present in court, were docked on 17-count criminal charges by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Prof Ojerinde, already arraigned twice, was docked for the third time alongside his family’s six companies.

In the new charge, the former JAMB registrar is accused of selling off a Federal Government property situated at House No. 4, Ahomko Drive, Achimota Phase Two, Accra, Ghana.

The house was said to have been sold by Ojerinde and his sons after it was forfeited to the federal government.

The fresh charge indicated that the alleged corrupt benefit conferred on Ojerinde by one Jimoh Olabisi Olatunde while he was a public officer contravened Section 26 (1) (c) and is punishable under Section 24 of the ICPC Act 2000.

Arraigned alongside Ojerinde were his three sons, Olumide Abiodun Ojerinde, Adedayo Ojerinde, and Oluwaseun Adeniyi Ojerinde, as well as his daughter-in-law, Mary Funmilola Ojerinde.

The family’s companies also put on trial were Doyin Ogbohi Petroleum Ltd, Cheng Marbles Limited, Sapati International Schools Ltd, Trillium Learning Centres Ltd, Standout Institutes Ltd and ESLI Perfect Security Printers Ltd.

Apart from the alleged unlawful sale of Federal Government property in Ghana, the former JAMB registrar was accused of using fake names to acquire companies, open bank accounts, acquire petroleum stations, and buy landed properties in Ilorin, Kwara State, while he was a public officer.

The charges also indicated that his sons acted as agents to facilitate the alleged sale of the house in Ghana.

The defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Due to their repeated refusals to accept invitations from the anti-graft agency and the likelihood that additional charges will be brought against them, ICPC lawyer Ebenezer Adenekan Shogunle opposed the granting of bail to Ojerinde and Oluwaseun Adeniyi Ojerinde.

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo, who took the plea of the defendants, asked the ICPC lawyer if there were pending criminal charges against them and if they were admitted on bail by the courts, to which the counsel answered in the affirmative.

The ICPC lawyer acknowledged that Ojerinde was going through a similar trial before the Federal High Court in Abuja and the Niger State High Court in Minna.

Justice Ekwo invoked the prior bail conditions to admit the former JAMB Registrar to bail after it was established that another Federal High Court in Abuja had previously granted bail to the individual.

 

The judge, however, admitted his three sons and daughter-in-law on bail in the sum of N20 million and for each of them one surety in like sum who must be property owners in Abuja with verified proofs of ownership.

The original title documents for the properties were to be deposited with the court, the judge ruled. The defendants were instructed to leave their passports in the custody of the court registrar and were prohibited from leaving the country without the court’s permission.

Justice Ekwo instructed Ojerinde, who was openly crying, to get immediate medical attention for his deteriorating health so that he could stand for trial as required by law.

The court subsequently fixed November 13, 14, 15, and 16 for trial, during which the ICPC is expected to call 18 witnesses to testify against the defendants.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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Lassa Fever Kills 150 In Nigeria — NCDC

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According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), 150 people died from Lassa virus in 125 local government areas throughout 27 states in the federation between January and March 2024.

The NCDC reported that the deaths were recorded with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.6% overall from week one to week thirteen, 2024. This is higher than the CFR for the same time in 2023 (17.5%).

In its Lassa Fever Situation Report Epi Week 13, which was released on March 25–31, 2024, the agency revealed that 806 of the 5,295 suspected cases that were recorded were confirmed. Eyes Of Lagos reports,

According to the report, in week 13, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 25 in Epi week 12, 2024 to 15. These cases were reported in Ondo, Bauchi, Plateau and Edo states.

 

In total for 2024, 27 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 LGAs, even as 62 percent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while 38 percent of cases were reported from 24 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.

Of the 62 percent confirmed cases, the NCDC said Ondo reported 24 percent, Edo 22 percent, and Bauchi 16 percent. The predominant age group affected is 31-40 years (Range: 1 to 98 years, Median Age: 32years), with a male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases of 1:1.

From the report, the number of suspected cases (5,295) increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2023 (4,338).

The agency confirmed that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System has been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre, EOC.

No new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week 13, the report noted.

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