The Federal High Court, Abuja, has awarded a N1 million fine against the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission for the unlawful detention of former Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Dibu Ojerinde.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a judgment, also awarded a N200, 000 fine against the ICPC as Ojerinde’s cost of instituting the case.
Justice Egwuatu held that it was undisputed that there was a pending charge against the ex-JAMB boss bordering on conspiracy to sell, sale of forfeited property, and multiple identity cards with different names against Ojerinde.
He, however, held that Ojerinde is presumed innocent until he has been proven guilty.
He also agreed that though there was a fresh charge against the professor and that the arraignment before a sister court was frustrated due to the court vacation and non-sitting of court at some points, including the refusal of Ojerinde’s daughter in-law and son to be in court for arraignment, the judge held that detaining him without an order of detention for the period in custody was a breach of his fundamental rights.
More so, the justice held that though the rearrest of the ex-JAMB boss on January 26 was 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 since Ojerinde would not be immediately arraigned.
Following, he declared that Ojerinde’s continued detention was unlawful, illegal and a breach of his right to liberty.
He, therefore, ordered that the embattled former JAMB registrar be released or arraigned immediately.
However, the court held that the applicant had been unable to prove that his right to dignity of person was breached by the ICPC, as he failed to prove that he was either tortured or brought into forced slavery, among others.