By Godson Ikiebey-
Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a former judge of the Federal High Court, after corruption charges against her were struck out by an Ikeja High Court.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), about 10 officials of the EFCC surrounded Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia as she attempted to leave the courtroom at 10.24 am after the ruling by Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
When she sighted 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 operatives.
Justice Oshodi, when notified about the development, 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.
Godwin Obla, a lawyer and Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s co-defendant, was however allowed to exit the court premises by officials of the EFCC.
When Justice Oshodi’s court rose, she was arrested at 11.47am by some EFCC officials who whisked her away in a white Hilux van with Abuja plate number BWR637AT.
Juatice Oshodi, in its ruling struck out the 31-count charge filed by the EFCC against Justice 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-corruption commission had not followed the procedures set by the National Judicial Council (NJC) in disciplining erring judicial officers.