Judge’s Absence, Pends Trial of JAMB Officials till 2020
The trial that was to be conducted on Priscilla Ogunsola and Daniel Agbo before Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja, on Thursday could not proceed due to the judge's absence. The absence actually made the prosecution and defence counsels to mutually come to a consensus to adjourn the date of judgement to January 30, 2020.
Ogunsola and Agbo, who were the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board ( JAMB), Benin and Lokoja zonal offices state coordinators, among other crimes, are facing trial for criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of fund, preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Ogunsola was arraigned on four-count charges, bordering on diversion of fund to the tune of N26,400,000, only to personal use.
Count one of the charge against Ogunsola reads: “That you, Mrs Priscilla Ogunsola and Cyril Izirein Imoukhuede (now deceased) between 2012 and 2016 in Abuja and Edo State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while respectively being the State Coordinator and Revenue Officer of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Benin Office, dishonestly misappropriated the sum of N26,400,000 (Twenty Six Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira) belonging to JAMB, an agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Law and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.”
Agbo, who was JAMB’s Lokoja Office coordinator, was also arraigned on four-count charges for crimes bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of the sum of N6,606,000, belonging to JAMB.
Count two of the charge against Agbo reads: “That you, Daniel Agbo, between 2009 and 2016 in Abuja and Kogi State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while being the State Coordinator of the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board Zonal (JAMB), Lokoja Office, dishonestly misappropriated the sum of N6,606,000 (Six Million, Six Hundred and Six Thousand Naira) belonging to JAMB, an agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Law and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.”
Both defendants had upon their arraignment, pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against them, thus, setting the stage for their trial.
While the prosecution counsel, Ekele Iheanacho was present in today’s first adjourned date for the presentation of witnesses, the trial judge, Justice Affen was unavoidably absent.
The prosecution and defence counsels consequently adopted January 30, 2020, for the commencement of trial.