Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, after corruption charges against her were struck out.
About 10 officials of the EFCC surrounded Ofili-Ajumogobia as she attempted to leave the courtroom at about 10:24 am on Tuesday after the ruling by Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
Upon sighting the officials, the judge hastily retreated upstairs into Justice Oshodi’s courtroom to seek the protection of the court from the EFCC officials.
However, when notified of the development, Justice Oshodi said there was nothing he could do as “the file had been closed”.
The embattled former judge and her husband, who was with her, were observed frantically making various phone calls.
When Justice Oshodi’s court rose, Ofili-Ajumogobia was apprehended at 11:47 am by some EFCC officials, who whisked her away in a white hilux van with an Abuja number plate.
However, Godwin Obla (SAN), Ofili-Ajumogobia’s codefendant, was allowed to exit the court premises by officials of the EFCC.
In her ruling before the arrest, Justice Oshodi had struck out the 31-count charge 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 (NJC) in disciplining erring judicial officers.