The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arrested a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.
Her arrest took place on the premises of the Lagos High Court, Lagos, Ikeja shortly after Justice Hakeem Oshodi struck out the corruption charges made against her by the EFCC.
As she attempted to leave the courtroom, EFCC officials moved to surround the dismissed judge.
Upon sighting them, the judge made a hasty retreat and went back upstairs into Justice Oshodi’s courtroom to seek the protection of the court from the EFCC officials.
Justice Oshodi, when notified about the development, said there was nothing he could do, as “the file had been closed.”
Her co-defendant, Mr. Godwin Obla, SAN, was however allowed to leave the court premises.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was standing trial before the court on charges bordering on unlawful enrichment, taking property by a public officer, corruption, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC, while Mr. Obla was Charged with bribing her with N5m.
They had both pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Before her arrest, the trial judge, Justice Oshodi, in a ruling, had struck out the 31 counts filed by the EFCC against Ofili-Ajumogobia and Mr. Obla on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.
The judge ruled that, based on the judicial precedent set by the case of Justice Nganjiwa Vs FRN, the EFCC had “jumped the gun” in filing the first amended charge.
Justice Oshodi also held that the anti-graft commission had not followed the procedures set by the National Judicial Council (NJC) for disciplining erring judicial officers.
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