Constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has hailed the court of appeal judgement for ruling against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over investigating serving judicial officers.
Appeal court had ruled that EFCC has no the powers to investigate or prosecute serving judicial officers except where they had been first dismissed by the NJC.
In a statement he signed on Tuesday, entitled: ‘Kudos to The Judiciary in Asserting its Assaulted Independence’, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said, “On December 11, 2017, the Court of Appeal, Lagos division, in the lead judgment delivered by Justice Adejumo Obaseki, quashed the 14 count charge against Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa before the Lagos state High court and ruled that the EFCC does not have the powers to investigate or prosecute serving judicial officers except where they had been first dismissed by the National Judicial Council (NJC).”
Ozekhome described the verdict as one that has asserted the independence of the judiciary as contained in the constitution.
“I totally support the Court of Appeal in this Landmark judgment that has the effect of clipping the tyrannical claws of the EFCC and its sister agencies in always viewing the judiciary as an annex of the Aso Villa.
“For the records, it is the NJC that has disciplinary control over judges as provided for in section 158 and paragraphs 21 (b) and (d) of the third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution, as altered. Some commentators have either disagreed with, or supported this decision. I support it. I will give my reasons anon,” Ozekhome said.