‘Illegal varsity’: Court berates ICPC over Iornem

A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out the criminal suit filed against Senator David Iornem by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, Iornem, who made a certified copy of the proceeding available, said it was the ICPC that applied to the court to withdraw the charge on the ground of non-compliance on its part and was thereby struck out by Justice A.R Mohammed.
Giving the background into the case, Iornem told journalists that National Universities Commission (NUC) had accused him of running an illegal university and awarding fake degrees which, he said, they could not prove.

The Professor of management sciences, who described his prosecution by the ICPC and NUC as vendetta, bias and insincere, said he was surprised that an organisation like the ICPC “who is supposed to be the hope of citizens could prosecute citizens without proper investigation.”
He commended the organisation for its courage in admitting that it made a mistake by not following due process, and advised the leadership of the ICPC to “do everything possible not to indulge in corrupt practices that lead corrupt officials not to follow due process” as it had happened to him.

He said: “It is extremely unfortunate that and disturbing that we are witnessing a drastic erosion of decency and good governance in Nigeria. Tell me, how can an agency as important as ICPC decide to embark on self-destruction mission? How can it decide to embark on prosecuting citizens using a process so patently vitiated by bad faith, insincerity, corrupt, malice, bias, vendetta and flagrant disregard for due process and the rule of law?”
He said he was aware that ICPC was preparing fresh charges against him, but assured that “there is nothing to worry about as I am ready to defend myself against any unwarranted assault on my integrity.”

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