A dismissed judge of the Federal High Court,Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, was on Tuesday arrested by officials of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the the premises of an Ikeja High Court, Lagos.
The arrest took place shortly after corruption charges filed by the EFCC against her were struck out by the court for lack of jurisdiction to hear the matter.
According to the Vanguard, about 10 officials of the EFCC surrounded Ofili-Ajumogobia as she attempted to leave the courtroom at 10.24 a.m. after the ruling by Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
However she made a hasty retreat and went back upstairs into Justice Oshodi’s courtroom to seek the protection of the court from the EFCC officials.
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 Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Ofili-Ajumogobia’s codefendant was however allowed to exit the court premises by officials of the EFCC.
However, when Justice Oshodi’s court rose, she was apprehended at 11.47 a.m. by some EFCC officials who whisked her away in a white Hilux van with Abuja plate number BWR637AT.
Earlier, 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 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.