The court of appeal in Lagos says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) does not have the power to prosecute judges.
The court gave the ruling following an appeal which Robert Clarke, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) filed on behalf of Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, a serving judge of the federal high court.
The EFCC had arraigned Nganjiwa on a 14-count charge before Adedayo Akintoye of the Lagos high court sitting in Igbosere.
It accused him of allegedly receiving $260,000 and N8.65 million through his bank accounts between 2013 and 2015 from suspicious sources.
It said Nganjiwa allegedly used the money to enrich himself as a public official as it did not correspond with his salary, an offence contrary to section 82(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos state, 2011.
It also accused the judge of giving false information to its operatives.
But Obaseki Adejumo, the presiding judge, held that his arraignment by the EFCC is not in order.
The judge said the National Judicial Council (NJC) must first perform its constitutional role of disciplining the judge after which it will then recommend him for prosecution.
Nganjiwa’s trial had earlier suffered a setback when Akintoye removed herself from continuing to preside over it.
Her withdrawal followed an application filed by Clarke, claiming she “could be biased” in the trial of his client.