Situation Report: A judge of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, has been arrested by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after corruption charges against her were struck out.
Backstory: Justice Hakeem Oshodi who presided over the case involving Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Godwin Obla, ruled that his court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case.
- There are procedures for disciplining a judicial officer which have been set by the National Judicial Council. And there is a precedence which was set by the case of Justice Nganjiwa vs FRN.
- Oshodi ruled that the EFCC had “jumped the gun” and not followed the procedure. He thus struck out the 31 counts filed by the EFCC against Ofili-Ajumogobia and Obla.
Post-ruling drama: After the ruling was made, Ofili-Ajumogobia attempted to leave the court room but she sighted EFCC officials making a move to arrest her. She quickly went back into Justice Oshodi’s courtroom seeking protection of the court.
- Justice Oshodi could however do nothing about it, saying the “file had been closed.”
- Alongside her husband, Ofili-Ajumogobia made several frantic calls, but alas, by the Justice Oshodi rose, the EFCC apprehended her and took her away in a white Hilux van.
1 interesting thing: The EFCC officials did not arrest Ofili-Ajumogobia’s co-defendant, Godwin Obla, SAN, who was allowed to exit the court premises.