EFCC set to try High Court Judge, Senior Lawyer for alleged bribery

Posted by News Express | 26 November 2016 | 2,220 times

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign a Federal High Court Judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Godwin Obla on Monday, November 28 before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.

The Commission had filed a 30-count charge against the two defendants.

Five of the charges border on an alleged five million naira bribe given to the judge by the senior advocate at a time she was presiding over one of his cases while the remaining 25-count charges are on the huge sums of money which passed through the accounts of the judge and her alleged inability to explain the source.

Justice Ofili Ajumogobia and Mr Obla have been in the custody of the EFCC for a little over two weeks.

On Friday, Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos struck out a one billion naira suit filed by Mr Obla, against the EFCC over his continued detention.

In a judgment delivered on the fundamental rights enforcement suit, Justice Idris held that the arrest and subsequent detention of Mr Obla from November 8 cannot be said to be unlawful or unconstitutional.

The court noted that it is clear from the affidavit evidence that “on the 9th of November, 2016, the EFCC sought obtained a remand order from a magistrate court.”

According to the judge, “It is also clear from the affidavit evidence that the applicant appeared before the learned magistrate when the application was moved by the EFCC and the remand order made.

“In the said order, the learned magistrate directed that the applicant be remanded for a period of 14 days while investigation into the alleged offence continues. The remand order was premised on the provisions of Section 264 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, 2011.”

The judge also refused to declare and hold that Section 264 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, 2011 is unconstitutional as requested by the applicant.

On the seized mobile phones of the applicant, the court held that affidavit processes filed has revealed that they are to be used as exhibits in the prosecution of a criminal charge filed by the EFCC against the applicant before a Lagos High Court.

In striking out the suit, Justice Idris held that “there is no doubt in my mind that the substantial part of the reliefs sought herein by the applicant does have a direct bearing with the charge pending at the Lagos High Court.

“There is potential injustice that this will occasion injustice to the EFCC in the criminal charge if the reliefs sought by the applicant are granted. This court should not make any order that will strike violently at the heart of the criminal charge pending at the Lagos High Court.

“The matter of bail of the applicant shall be decided by the Lagos High Court where the criminal charge is pending.

“On the whole, I find that this application cannot succeed in the circumstance of this case. The suit is hereby struck out.” (Channels TV)

Source: News Express

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