One of the prevalent challenges amidst others, that the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is facing and has continually fought against, is the issue of corruption and corrupt leaders.
A situation whereby most of the political leaders are either corrupt or encourage corrupt practices with so much impunity makes it difficult to manage and lead effectively, bearing in mind the numerous doubts and questions that would continue to arise as a result of lack of trust and confidence from the masses toward the elected leaders.
Just recently, news sources revealed that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arrested a former registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde, for allegedly misappropriating N900 million.
According to the story gotten from the ICPC spokesperson Azuka Ogugua, Ojerinde was confronted and arrested on 15th March 2021, in Abuja by investigators of ICPC, after being accused of perpetrating numerous crimes while in charge of JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).
Commenting further on the situation, Ogugua divulged that he has been incarcerated by the Commission for proper investigations and questioning over the allegations of multiple identities, misuse of office, currency laundering, tax evasion, and making erroneous statements to public officials. Ogugua stated that:
“The former JAMB boss is also being questioned by the Commission for allegedly awarding fraudulent contracts to shell companies which cannot be traced.”
“He was alleged to have awarded contracts for the supply of pencil and eraser at the cost of N450 million each, to Double 07 Concept Limited and Pristine Global Concept Limited, respectively, between 2013 and 2014 while heading JAMB.
“There is no evidence to show that the items which are examination materials were supplied as the contractors cannot be found”
“Similar contracts were allegedly awarded to Solid Figures Limited, Holywalk Limited, and other companies for various sums without any trace of executions.
“Ojerinde is being held on a remand warrant and will soon be charged to court upon the conclusion of an investigation.”
As always Nigerians are already wagging their tongues and directing insults at the registrar, claiming that “he and the majority of his officials have no conscience” and have carefully mapped out ways and methods of defrauding vulnerable, innocent, and hard-working young people who have made efforts year-in-year-out to gain admission and make fundamental progress in their educational lives.
In fact, aspiring university students were the happiest and most grateful immediately the news broke, and they were delighted to affirm that the long arm of the law had finally caught up with him. They are however hopeful that anyone who is in one way or the other connected to these schemes be exposed as well, upon completion of the said investigation. Also, they feel that this episode should serve as a deterrent to those who are already into such corrupt practices or intending to be part of it.
Meanwhile, reports have confirmed that the registrar will remain in police custody pending the outcome of the investigation.
Gift Joseph Okpakorese