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Rights violation: Court fines ICPC N1.2m, orders release of ex-JAMB registrar

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Rights violation: Court fines ICPC N1.2m, orders release of ex-JAMB registrar

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A federal high court in Abuja has ordered the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to pay N1 million to Dibu Ojerinde, former Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), over unlawful detention.

Obiora Egwuatu, presiding judge, also awarded N200,000 fine against the ICPC as the cost of instituting the suit and ordered the immediate release or arraignment of the applicant.

In March 2021, Ojerinde was arrested by the ICPC.

On July 6, 2021, he was arraigned on an 18-count charge bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of N5.2 billion while in office. He was later granted bail while the trial continued.

On January 2023, Ojerinde was re-arrested by the ICPC at the premises of the court.

But the former JAMB registrar sued ICPC for allegedly violating his right to dignity and liberty.

Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Egwuatu held that though Ojerinde’s rearrest was legal and lawful based on the search warrant obtained from the chief judge of the court, the anti-graft commission ought to have obtained a detention warrant.

The judge held that detaining the applicant without a proper order and not arraigning him was a breach of his fundamental right to liberty.

However, the court held that Ojerinde’s right to the dignity of a person was not breached since he was unable to show that he was either tortured or brought into forced slavery, among others.

The judge ordered that the former JAMB registrar should be released or arraigned immediately.

Although Ojerinde had sought N500 million as compensation and another N100 million as the cost of instituting the suit, the court awarded N1 million as damages and N200,000 as litigation cost.
(TheCable)