The National Judicial Council (NJC) yesterday reinstated Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia as a Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC). The Council premised its decision on a court judgment quashing 15 counts of money laundering preferred against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The NJC had earlier okayed Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s prosecution following a petition dated December 28, 2017, which accused her of engaging in various acts considered to be in breach of the Code of Conduct of Judicial Officers. Based on the recommendation by the Council, President Muhammadu Buhari, on November 7, 2018, in the exercise of his constitutional power under Section 292 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, dismissed Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia as a judge of the Federal High Court. However, owing to an application by Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, the trial court, in a ruling it delivered on November 19, 2021, discharged the defendant of the charge against her.
The court placed reliance on a judgment that was delivered on November 28, 2019, quashing the NJC report that indicted the defendant. Sequel to the court judgment, the NJC, at the end of a meeting it held on December 1, okayed the reinstatement of Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia to the bench, a directive that has been complied with by the Chief Judge of the High Court, Justice John Tsoho. Justice Tsoho, in a circular, said Justice Ofili- Ajumogobia’s reinstatement was with immediate effect.