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Court declines Ajumogobia’s application seeking release from EFCC custody

Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, refused to grant an ex-parte application filed by a fellow judge, Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, seeking her release from EFCC’s custody.

Ajumogobia and a senior advocate, Godwin Obla (SAN) a former prosecutor with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are facing a 30-count charge brought against them by the Commission over alleged perversion of the cause of justice.

The commission had detained the duo in its custody pending the conclusion of its investigation.

Ajumogobia then filed an ex parte application through her lawyer, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), seeking enforcement of her fundamental rights before the court.

She is urging the court to order her release from custody.

In his argument, Onigbajo faulted the continued detention of the judge in the EFCC’s custody.

Onigbanjo argued that the commission has an option to charge Ajumogobia to court if it is sure she has committed any offence.

“The EFCC has the option to charge her to court but it has not done so. She has also stated that she is ready to defend herself vigorously against any charge that may be slammed on her.

“She is ready to deposit her passport and abide by any other conditions that the court may impose on her.

“There is no need under the law to continue to keep her in detention except to humiliate her because the offence is a bailable one,” he said.

In a short ruling Justice Hassan directed the applicant to put the anti-graft agency on notice.

The judge said that he was of the view that the interest of justice will better be served if the respondent is put on notice.

“The prayers being sought cannot be heard by motion ex-parte” he ruled

The judge fixed November 28 for hearing.