– EFCC re-arrest dismissed judge to prefer a fresh criminal charge against her.
– Justice Oshodi says the EFCC ‘jumped the gun’.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday says it re-arrested a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia to enable it to prefer a fresh criminal charge against her.
The anti-graft agency in a statement on Tuesday by its Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade, revealed that the arrest was in line with the decision of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, in a case involving Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, where the court held that a judge could not be prosecuted until he or she had either been dismissed or compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
According to the EFCC, consequent upon the fact that it had presented Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia before the NJC for disciplinary action and that the council had taken a position, it would approach the court to prefer fresh charges against her.
The agency further revealed that it had presented 12 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court in the course of the trial.
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To see the end of a case that was filed by the EFCC against the dismissed judge, Justice Oshodi at a Tuesday sitting stated that based on the judicial precedent set by the case of Justice Nganjiwa V. FRN, the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit as the EFCC “jumped the gun” in filing the first amended charge.
The judge noted that as at Monday, December 11, 2017, the EFCC was aware of the decision reached by the Court of Appeal in Nganjiwa vs FRN.
“As at that date, the amended information was yet to be filed and the 12 prosecution witness was still giving evidence,” he was quoted as saying by the EFCC.
In view of Tuesday’s ruling by Justice Oshodi and having complied with the NJC procedure, the anti-graft agency stressed that would prefer fresh criminal charges against Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia.