June 28, 2023

ICPC vows to appeal court’s order releasing ex-JAMB boss, Ojerinde


The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says it will appeal a court ruling ordering the immediate release of the former Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde.

Recall that the Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that ICPC should release Ojerinde and pay him N1 million over unlawful detention.

The Presiding Judge, Obiora Egwuatu also awarded N200,000 fine against the anti-graft agency as the cost of instituting the suit against the former JAMB registrar.

In March 2021, Ojerinde was arrested by the ICPC. He was arraigned four months later 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.

Subsequently, 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.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Azuka Ogugua, ICPC spokesperson, said the commission “intends to appeal the ruling of the court”.

“The anti-corruption agency had a valid warrant issued by the chief judge of the federal high court dated 6th December, 2022,” Ogugua said.

“Ojerinde had used several false names, aliases and forged means of identification such as Akanbi Lamidi, Adeniyi Banji, Habibulahi Lamidi, Joshua Olaniran Olakuleyin, etc to perpetrate his corrupt practices through various bank accounts and still retains the resources and influence to evade justice.“

The ICPC said it remains unfaltering and will continue to discharge its responsibilities with diligence and professionalism.