Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered the immediate release of the former Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The judge, who gave the order in a rights enforcement suit filed by the ex-JAMB chief, also ordered the commission to pay a N1 million fine to the plaintiff over his unlawful arrest.
He equally awarded N200,000 against the ICPC as Ojerinde’s cost of filing the case.
The commission arrested the ex-JAMB registrar in March 2021 and arraigned on an 18-count charge of alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of N5.2 billion on June 6 of the same year.
He was later granted bail by the court.
After Ojerinde was re-arrested by ICPC operatives in the court premises on January 23, he sued the commission for alleged violation of his right to dignity and liberty.
At Tuesday’s proceeding, Justice Egwuatu held that though Ojerinde’s re-arrest was lawful based on the search warrant obtained from the court’s chief judge, he said the commission’s failure to obtain a detention warrant was unacceptable.
He noted that the ICPC’s decision to detain the applicant without a proper order or arraigning him was a breach of his fundamental right to liberty.
The judge ordered the commission to release the ex-JAMB registrar or arraign him immediately.