Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s request for release from EFCC’s custody suffers setback

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OrijoReporter.com, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday refused an ex-parte application filed by the embattled judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, seeking her release from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Read also: EFCC seizes man’s properties for failing to explain source of wealth

The EFCC had preferred a 30-count charge against Ajumogobia and a senior lawyer, Godwin Obla (SAN) over alleged perversion of the cause of justice.

The commission had detained the duo in its custody pending the conclusion of its investigation.

But Justice Ajumogobia filed an ex parte application through her lawyer, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), seeking enforcement of her fundamental rights before Justice Muslim Hassan.

She is urging the court to order her release from custody.

In his argument, Onigbajo faulted the continued detention of the judge in the EFCC’s custody.

He argued that the commission has an option to charge Ajumogobia to court if it is sure she has committed any offence.

He said: “The EFCC has the option to charge her to court but it has not done so. She has also stated that she is ready to defend herself vigorously against any charge that may be slammed on her.

“She is ready to deposit her passport and abide by any other conditions that the court may impose on her.

“There is no need under the law to continue to keep her in detention except to humiliate her because the offence is a bailable one.”

In a short ruling Justice Hassan directed the applicant to put the anti-graft agency on notice.

The judge said that he was of the view that the interest of justice will better be served if the respondent is put on notice.

“The prayers being sought cannot be heard by motion ex-parte” he ruled

The judge fixed Nov. 28 for hearing.

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