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Ajumogobia defeats EFCC, as courts strikes out case

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Tuesday struck out the corruption suit the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed against Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, and Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Hakeem Oshodi held that based on the judicial precedent set by the case of Justice Nganjiwa V. FRN, the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit as the EFCC “jumped the gun” in filing the first amended charge.

He noted that in spite of the anti-graft commission being aware of the decision in Mr Nganjiwa’s case, regarding the proper procedure to discipline erring judicial officers, the EFCC still went ahead with the trial by calling more witnesses.

“As at Monday, December 11, 2017, the EFCC was aware of the decision reached by the Court of Appeal in Nganjiwa vs FRN. As at that date, the amended information was yet to be filed and the 12th prosecution witness was still giving evidence.

“The prosecution persisted like a bull running amok and still called two more witnesses and precious judicial time was wasted.

“We have not found a way in the judicial atmosphere to discipline or penalise an agency of government through fines or costs.

“In conclusion, the court has no jurisdiction to hear the first amended charge of February 21, 2018 of 31 counts. This suit is hereby struck out.”

NAN reports that while delivering his judgment in the Nganjiwa’s case, Justice Obaseki Adejumo of the Court of Appeal held that the EFCC does not have power to investigate and prosecute serving judicial officers.

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