Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja has fined the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) N1 million for the arbitrary detention of Dibu Ojerinde, former Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

Remember that the ICPC charged the professor with official corruption and misuse of authority.

Ojerinde was arraigned alongside four of his children, including Mary Ojerinde, Olumide Ojerinde, Adebayo Ojerinde, and Oluwaseun Ojerinde.

Doyin Ogbohi Petroleum Limited, Cheng Marbles Limited, Sapati International Schools Limited, Trillium Learning Centre Limited, Standout Institutes Limited, and Esli Perfect Security Printers Limited are the other defendants.

However, the Judge on Tuesday also imposed a N200,000 fine on the ICPC to cover Ojerinde’s legal fees.

Egwuatu ruled that, while the ex-JAMB boss’s arrest on January 26 was valid and lawful based on the search warrant received from the chief justice of the court, the anti-graft commission should have sought a detention warrant because Ojerinde would not be prosecuted immediately.

He concurred with the ICPC’s counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle, that the search warrant expressly indicated that Ojerinde, his daughter-in-law, and his son, as well as anything discovered in the premises to be searched, should be produced to court.

The Judge also agreed that, while there was a new charge against the professor and the arraignment before a sister court was hampered by court vacation and non-sitting at some points, including Ojerinde’s refusal to appear in court for arraignment, detaining him without an order of detention for the period in custody was a violation of his fundamental rights.

Egwuatu also stated that the applicant was facing a pending charge in suit number: FHC/ABJ/CR/119/2023, alleging multiple identities, conspiracy to sell and sale of already forfeited property to the Federal Government, and multiple identity cards with different names.

However, the Judge ruled that Ojerinde “is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

In terms of his right to dignity of person, the court determined that the petitioner had failed to demonstrate that the ICPC had violated his right to dignity of person.

Egwuatu went on to say that he had not been able to demonstrate that he had been tortured or forced into slavery, among other things.

Finally, the judge, who stated that Ojerinde is considered innocent until the court rules, stated that his continuing incarceration was unlawful, illegal, and a violation of his right to liberty.

As a result, he ordered that the embattled former registrar be released, with the ICPC paying N1 million in damages for infringement of his fundamental right to liberty, as well as N200,000 in litigation costs.

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