Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have apprehended Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, after corruption charges against her were struck out.
Her arrest took place on the premises of an Ikeja High Court, Lagos today April 16th when about 10 officials of the EFCC surrounded Ofili-Ajumogobia as she attempted to leave the courtroom at 10.24 a.m. after the ruling by Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
Upon sighting the officials, 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.”
According to reports, the embattled former judge and her husband who was with her, were observed frantically making various phone calls. The EFCC officials however allowed Ofili-Ajumogobia’s co-defendant, Godwin Obla, SAN, to exit the court premises.
Immediately Justice Oshodi’s court rose, Ofili-Ajumogobia was apprehended at 11.47 a.m. by some EFCC officials who whisked her away in a white Hilux van with Abuja number plate BWR637AT. Justice Oshodi, in a ruling, had struck out the 31 counts filed by the EFCC against Ofili-Ajumogobia and 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 noted that the anti-graft commission had not followed the procedures set by the National Judicial Council in disciplining erring judicial officers.