The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has given reasons for re-arresting a former judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia who was discharged by the court on Tuesday, stating that its action was legal.
Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia was, on Tuesday, re-arrested at the premises of an Ikeja High Court after she was discharged of corruption charges by Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
A statement issued on Tuesday afternoon by EFCC acting Head of Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade, revealed, the commission re-arrested Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia to enable it prefer a fresh criminal charge against her.
It added 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).
Orilade in the statement said, “Consequent upon the fact that the Commission had presented Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia before the NJC for disciplinary action and that the NJC had taken a position, the Commission would now approach the court to prefer fresh charges on her.
“The Commission had first arraigned Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla, SAN, on a 30-count charge on Monday, November 28, 2016 on offences bordering on perversion of the course of justice, graft, unlawful enrichment, providing false information and forgery.
“They were, however, re-arraigned on an amended 31-count charge bordering on an alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery.
“They pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them, thereby setting the stage for the trial.”
Orilade said further, “Having presented 12 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court in the course of the trial, counsel to Ofili-Ajumogobia, first defendant, Robert Clarke SAN, in an application dated November, 27, 2018, said the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case and urged the court to discharge and acquit his client.
“However, Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, counsel for the second defendant, Obla, on January 25, 2019, told the court that the charges preferred against his client could be entertained.
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