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Serving High Court Judge Arraigned For Being Too Rich

EFCC Operatives

A serving judge of the Federal High Court, Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, was on Friday arraigned before Justice A.A. Akintoye of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, for alleged unlawful enrichment to the tune of $260,000 and N8,650,000.
Mr. Nganjiwa, who is attached to the Bayelsa Division of the Federal High Court, was arraigned on a 14 count charge.
His arraignment followed the dismissal of a preliminary objection he filed to challenge the jurisdiction of the court to try him.
The counsel to Mr. Nganjiwa, Robert Clarke, had contended that by virtue of Section 158 of the 1999 Constitution, only the National Judicial Council had the power to deal with the kind of allegations brought against the serving judge by the EFCC.
In opposition, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the EFCC, contended that despite being a serving judge, Mr. Nganjiwa had no immunity from criminal prosecution.
Mr. Oyedepo stressed that “Section 308 of the constitution, which specified government officials who had immunity as the president, vice-president and state governors, did not include a serving judge.
“Despite the fact that Section 158 of the Constitution vested the National Judicial Commission, with administrative power to discipline an earring judicial for misconduct, the NJC did not have the power to look into criminal allegations against judges.
“I therefore urge this court to dismiss the preliminary objection and order Justice Nganjiwa to proceed into the dock for his arraignment,” said Mr. Oyedepo.



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