The Independent Corrupt Practices And other Related Offenses Commission,ICPC, has suffered a setback in ongoing trial of David Iornem, who was charged for running illegal universities due to the ongoing Judges’ legal year conference in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
The matter scheduled for further hearing before Abuja High Court’s Justice Ramat Mohammed, but had to be adjourned till November 24 for the currently in progress conference involving judges from Federal High court nationwide, though resumes next Monday, 19 October, 2015.
The defendant, Iornem, who is facing a 14-count charge over advanced fee fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
According to the EFCC, the accused had between January 2012 to August 2013 with intent of fraud allegedly collected eleven thousand, five hundred and fifty Dollars ($11,550) from the former Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof Ishaq Oloyede to award him an academic doctorate degree.
Iornem is also charged for obtaining five thousand dollars ($5000) from one Akinkuotu Albert Oluwatoyin, under false pretence and notified the victim of being admitted at at Commonwealth University Belize, an illegal and unaccredited university to earn a doctorate degree of philosophy in management.
The accused allegedly at different times collected $800 from one Jamilu Rabiu Sani, an ICPC agent for an application form and Festus Uwakhemen Asikhna and Victor Ekpo Effiom were victims who paid N1million and $6,800 respectively.
Iornem is also standing charged for converting N34million mainly incomes from various racketeering to awarding fake academic and honorary degrees at an self-operated unaccredited, owned and illegally university to acquire an administrative residence at Jikwoyi, Abuja.
The accused also transfered $307,000 derived from racketeering in the illegal university to be a foreign university based in Belize, to acquire a 2 bedroom flat at No 9, Offord close, London, with intent to disguise the illicit origin of the funds.
Including other charges, he equally moved €11,000 to the London account of Island Open University, also incomes from racketeering, an offence contrary to section 15(1)(a)(ii) and punishable under section 15(2) of the money laundering prohibition Act, 2011.
However, the ICPC prosecutor who is in the undercover operation and investigation awaited at hearing to testify after he had posed as Jamilu Rabiu Sani being asked to pay $800 before being offered admission.
In a petition by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to the ICPC chairman with Ref No. NUC/ES/96/Vol. 12/89, the commission admitted knowledge of the illicit activities of Iornem who had claimed to be running online programmes for a number of foreign universities.
The commission said it had been severally challenged the accused and ordering him to desist from such activities with no approval from the commission.