By Abdul Tukur, Political correspondent
A serving judge can no longer be investigated or prosecuted by The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC unless they have been dismissed by the National Judicial Council, NJC.
This ruling delivered by the Court of appeal in Lagos was made in a suit between the EFCC and a judge, Hydiazira Nganjiwa.
Justice Nganjiwa, of the Yenagoa Federal High Court, who was facing a 14-count charge at Igbosere was represented by his lawyer, Robert Clarke, a senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN.
The EFCC claimed that in 2013 to 2015, the judge who was cleared by the NJC early this year, received $260,000 and N8.65 million which could not be accounted for. The charges against Justice Nganjiwa were dismissed by the presiding Judge.
Following an appeal from Mr Clarke SAN, Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo, the presiding judge, overturned a previous judgment of a high court in Lagos by ruling against the anti-graft commission headed by Ibrahim Mustafa Magu.
Justice Obaseki-Adejumo stated that the NJC which holds the powers to discipline and recommend judges for prosecution must be allowed to perform its duties.
Reacting to the judgment, The EFCC said: “#Alert: The EFCC will appeal today’s ruling of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal, which held that the anti-graft agency lacked powers to investigate or prosecute serving judicial officials except where such officers have been dismissed by the National Judicial Council.”