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An embattled former registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Dibu Ojerinde has sued the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for unlawful arrest.
Ojeride who has been under investigation by the anti-corruption agency since 2020, filed a suit against the agency at a federal high court in Abuja
PLATFORM TIMES reports that the ICPC in April 2020 secured an interim forfeiture of some of Ojerinde’s assets which were said to be proceeds of crime.
Ojerinde was however arrested by the ICPC in March 2021 for allegedly misappropriating N900 million.
He was charged to court four months after on an an 18-count charge bordering
on alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of N5.2 billion while in office.
On January 2023, Ojerinde was re-arrested by the ICPC in Abuja at the premises of a federal high court.
The agency said it uncovered two accounts opened in the names of Trillium Learning Centre Ltd and Sapati International Schools Ltd, into which funds were diverted using fictitious names of students.
Suing the anti-corruption agency for his re-arrest, Ojerinde in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/179/2023 filed before Obiora Egwuatu, the presiding judge, sought an order to enforce his fundamental rights, following his re-arrest on January 26 and his subsequent detention.
The matter, however, could not proceed due to the governorship and state assembly election break granted to the judges.
While Ojerinde’s suit was adjourned until May 4 for the mention, his trial was fixed for the same date for hearing continuation.
ICPC lawyer, Ebenezer Shogunle on February 15, notified the court that Ojerinde was re-arrested on suspicion that he might have committed some other offences that might relate to the present charges before the court.
Shogunle said the agency had “obtained a warrant from the court dated December 6, 2022” for the ex-JAMB registrar’s re-arrest.
Although Shogunle did not mention the judge from whom the warrant was obtained, he said that the fresh investigation exercise was about 90 percent complete.
Eteya Ogana, Ojerinde’s lawyer, disagreed with Shogunle on his client’s re-arrest.
Ogana said on the last adjourned date after the proceeding, the operatives of ICPC intercepted them and took Ojerinde away under the guise that they were inviting him for an explanation.
The lawyer said his client had been in the commission’s custody since the re-arrest.
Ogana said despite that Ojerinde did not breach the bail terms, they were not served with the warrant before he was re-arrested.
The lawyer argued that if there were uncovered evidence against his client, ICPC was at liberty to file additional proof of evidence and not to re-arrest him.
“There is no evidence before this court or any court to show that the defendant violated the terms of bail granted to him,” Ogana had said.
Ogana also said that they were unaware of the move to engage in a plea bargain contrary to Shogunle’s submission.
However, the judge said he couldn’t recall signing any arrest warrant.
“You said this court granted your application for arrest warrant? And I didn’t sign any. Which court?” Egwuatu asked the ICPC lawyer.
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