Justice Hyeladzira Ajiya Nganjiwa of the Bayelsa Division of the Federal High Court was yesterday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Adedayo Akintoye of an Igbosere High Court over an alleged $260,000 fraud.
The judge was also alleged to have corruptly enriched himself to the tune of N8.6 million. Justice Nganjiwa was docked on a 14-count charge of corrupt enrichment and offering of false information to EFCC officials, following the dismissal of his preliminary objection to the charge.
In his preliminary objection to the charge which was brought pursuant to Section 6 (6) (a) of the Constitution and inherent jurisdiction of the court, the judge argued that as a sitting judicial officer and a member of the judicial arm of government, he can only be subjected to the discipline of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
He further argued that the court lacks jurisdiction to try him as the information filed by the EFCC offends the provisions of Section 158 (1) and paragraph 21 of the third schedule of the Constitution, established judicial precedents and authorities.
In his arguments over the objection, Justice Nganjiwa’s lawyer, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), said the National Judicial Council (NJC) must be allowed to exercise the powers vested in it by the Constitution before the court stepped into the matter.