The National Judicial Council (NJC), chaired by Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed has come down with a heavy disciplinary gavel on Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court, warning her and putting her on the “Watch-List” of the Council for the next four years.
The judge will also not be considered for any elevation to the Court of Appeal or any Ad-hoc Judicial appointment until she retires from the Bench.
A statement by Soji Oye, the Acting Director of Information [of…], said the decisions were taken at a meeting of the Council held on February 24th and 25th.
The NJC decisions are a sequel to a petition against her by one Victoria Ayeni alleging misconduct and injustice by Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia for failing to deliver judgment in a pre-election suit between Victoria A. A. Ayeni and Olusola Sonuga and 2 Ors.
SaharaReporters has however learned that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia has some other undisclosed strikes against her, including obtaining money from former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode to set him free of the corruption charges against him in a case before her.
It would be recalled that last July, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia discharged and acquitted Fani-Kayode of all the corruption charges against him. In her dismissal of the charges, she described the prosecution’s case as “feeble”, arguing that it had failed to provide “copious evidence” linking Fani-Kayode with money laundering.
In her petition, Ms. Ayeni had alleged that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia deliberately adjourned the suit several times until the termination of the life span of the Ogun State House of Assembly, a charge the NJC apparently agreed with.
It has also emerged that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia struck a deal with the embattled former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, who is now being tried on various multi-billion Naira corruption charges, to provide employment for her daughter in exchange for covering up his atrocities in court.
The decision of the NJC on Hon. Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia is with immediate effect.