EFCC operatives storm Justice Ajumogobia’s house in early morning raid


Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia got a rude shock this morning, as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission knocked on her door at about 5am to conduct a search of the house.
The Point learnt that the operatives, who arrived in large numbers, surrounded the house at 18B, Lai Ajayi Bembe Street, Park View Estate, Lagos, by Greenwood House School. They were armed with a search warrant allegedly signed by a Magistrate.
This is coming eight days after a Court had urged the anti-corruption agency to be professional in performing its duties.
Wondering why EFCC would conduct such a surprise raid on the home of a person who has already been arraigned in court, one of Ofili-Ajumogobia’s lawyers told The Point that, “This is unlawful. It’s an abuse of human right.”
“The case is coming up again tomorrow,” he said.
The EFCC had arraigned Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia alongside Mr. Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, on November 28, before Justice O.H. Oshodi of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on a 30-count charge ranging from conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, offering gratification to a public official, and unlawful enrichment by public official, among others.
Ajumogobia and Obla were in EFCC detention since early November before they were arraigned.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Thereafter, counsel to Ajumogobia, Mr. Wale Akoni, SAN, and counsel to Obla, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, moved applications for them to be granted bail.
They were granted bail in the sum of N20 million and on self-recognition.
The next day, a Court threw out Ajumogobia’s fundamental rights suit, and urged the EFCC to be professional in its operations.
Justice Muslim Sule Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos had lashed out at the EFCC over the way and manner it carried out its probe of Ofili-Ajumogobia.
While delivering judgement in the N50million fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Justice Ajumogobia against the anti-graft agency over her prolonged detention, Justice Hassan urged the EFCC to be professional in performing its duties.
Justice Ajumogobia sought, among other things, an order of the court declaring her continued detention by the EFCC as illegal.
While noting that although the EFCC is vested with powers to arrest and detain any citizen suspected to have committed any offence, Justice Hassan said such powers must be exercised with caution.
The judge questioned the rationale behind the revocation of the administrative bail granted to Justice Ajumogobia by the EFCC on October 22, 2016, when she is not a flight risk.
He said: “The respondent should have exercised restraints in revoking the bail earlier granted the applicant. There was no evidence that the applicant is a flight risk.
“The respondent is hereby counseled to be professional and to always exercise caution and restraints in the exercise of its powers.”