The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it re-arrested Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, because it wants to prefer a new set of criminal charges against her.
The anti-graft agency gave the explanation in a statement issued by Tony Orilade, its acting Head of Media and Publicity on Tuesday.
A huge drama played out on Tuesday as operatives of the EFCC arrested Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia moments after Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Ikeja High Court dismissed corruption charges levelled against her by the anti-graft agency.
Justice Oshodi held that EFCC had “jumped the gun” by filing charges against the dismissed judge, noting that the commission had failed to follow the procedure set by the National Judicial Council (NJC) in disciplining judicial officials.
The judge also ruled that the EFCC failed to take into cognisance the decision of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, in a case involving Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, which ruled that a judge could not be prosecuted until they had either been dismissed or compulsorily retired by the NJC.
Subsequently, the EFCC in its statement said having studied the ruling of the Ikeja High Court and with Justice Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia already being dismissed from the bench by the NJC, it was ready to institute a new suit against her.
“Consequent upon the fact that the commission had presented 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 her,” the EFCC statement read.