The Court of Appeal Sitting in Lagos has struck out the charges filed against a Justice of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa who is alleged to have collected bribes to pervert the course of justice.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Obaseki Adejumo on Monday, the court held that the National Judicial Council (NJC) must first perform its constitutional role of disciplining the judge and recommending him for prosecution before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) can file charges against him.
Justice Nganjiwa is being prosecuted by the EFCC for alleged money laundering to the tune of $260,000 and N8.65million.
On the June 23, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Justice Nganjiwa for alleged unlawful enrichment to the tune of $260,000 and N8.65million. The commission claimed that the judge received the money through his bank account between 2013 and 2015.
The commission also said the sums did not correspond with the Judge’s salary and he could not explain the source of the funds.
Justice Nganjiwa, who is attached to the Bayelsa Division of the Federal High Court, was therefore arraigned on a 14 count charge before Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the Lagos High Court Sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island.
On November 22, Justice Akintoye had however withdrawn from the case after allegations of bias were made against her by Justice Nganjiwa.
She sent the case file back to the Chief Judge of Lagos for re-assignment to another judge.
This was the status of the case until today’s decision striking out the charges following an appeal by Justice Nganjiwa counsel, Mr Robert Clarke (SAN).