Court orders ICPC to pay civil servant N10 million damages for malicious prosecution
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Offences Related Commission (ICPC) to pay N10 million damages for malicious prosecution of a public servant Emmanuel Ibe.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the ICPC, in the course of the trial, caused unnecessary discomfort and disruption in the life and career processing of the worker.
“This means there was no basis for the prosecution of the plaintiff (Mr Ibe) by the defendant (ICPC) going by the uncontroverted facts of this case,” said the judge. “Upon weighing the circumstance of this case, I make an order awarding the sum of N10 million against the defendant as general damages for malicious prosecution of the plaintiff.”
Mr Ibe, who was, as of September 30, 2016, the director of Finance and Administration at the Police Services Commission (PSC), sued the anti-corruption agency for malicious prosecution.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/379/2019, Mr Ibe asked the court to award N500 million as general damages for malicious prosecution.
He averred that in April 2016, while the presidency was considering his curriculum vitae for appointment as the substantive secretary to the PSC, the agency, in a bizarre manner, invited him to make a written statement under words of caution in respect of a petition written against the chairman PSC, Mike Okiro about a year ago and which had no reference to him.
Mr Ibe explained that the ICPC, based on a petition written against him by a staff of PSC, Aaron Kaose, prosecuted him on criminal allegations and charges bordering on corruption, fraud, and dishonesty.
He added that as a result of the case, his name was dropped and not considered fit for the secretary’s office to the PSC, and a permanent secretary was posted from another ministry to replace him.
According to him, pressure was mounted on the PSC and the head of the civil service of the federation to have him suspended from duty pending the outcome of the prosecution.
The ICPC had filed a nine-count charge against Mr Ibe on October 21, 2016, and the trial concluded on February 4, 2019.
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