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EFCC Lacks Powers To Prosecute Serving Judges: Why We Support The Court Of Appeal’s Judgment— Centrep




Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged, (Centrep), a rights group in Warri, has commended the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division over its judgment which declared that the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) does not have the statutory powers to investigate or prosecute serving judicial officers, except such officers had been dismissed by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Centrep in a press release stated that the said “verdict would help to protect the sanctity and independence of the judiciary from been bastardized and ridiculed by the Executive and her agencies in the name of fighting corruption.”
The press release read in part: “We make bold to say, that while we at Centrep are in total support of fighting corruption, we insist that same must be fought in accordance with the rule of law, as our above position is fortified by the principles enunciated in the case of Joseph Ogbeshe Vs. Chief Sylvanus Idam where the Court held thus: “Where there is a liberty or right to do or not to do any act, the prescribed procedure must be followed”.
“The prescribed procedure laid down by Law here is that no serving judicial officer can be tried unless such officer has been dismissed by the National Judicial Council (NJC). The implication is that it is only a retired or a dismissed judge that can be prosecuted as demonstrated in the case of former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike.
“No wonder the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division had no difficulty in striking out the charges brought against Hon. Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, a serving Federal High Court Judge in the Yenagoa Judicial Division.”
Centrep said further: “We sincerely hope that the Supreme Court would not disturb the landmark judgment of the Court.”


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