There was mild drama at the premises of an Ikeja High Court Tuesday, as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, after corruption charges against her were struck out.
No fewer than 10 operatives of the EFCC surrounded Ofili-Ajumogobia as she attempted to leave the courtroom at about 10.24am, after the ruling by Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
Upon sighting the operatives, the former 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.
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 phonecalls.
Ofili-Ajumogobia’s codefendant, Mr. Godwin Obla (SAN) was however allowed to exit the court premises by officials of the EFCC.
However, when Justice Oshodi’s court rose, she was apprehended at 11.47am by some EFCC officials who whisked her away in a white Hilux van with Abuja plate number BWR637AT.
Justice Oshodi, in a ruling, 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 precedence 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.