By Harrison Arubu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday witnessed a setback in its perceived fight against corruption after a Court of Appeal ruling held that the agency lacked powers to investigate or prosecute serving judicial officials.
The commission while expressing dismay over the ruling said it will appeal the decision of the court.
The Lagos division of the court delivered the judgment in a case between the EFCC and a judge of the Federal High Court, Hydiazira Nganjiwa.
The appellate court held that only judicial officers that have been dismissed by the National Judicial Council could be tried or investigated by the commission.
In a statement on Monday, spokesman of the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said the commission considered the ruling as a “dangerous precedent that has no basis in law”.
Uwujaren said the EFCC was confident that the Supreme Court would upturn the judgment.
“Criminal trial takes precedence over administrative procedures and it is strange that the Court of Appeal wants to put the cart before the horse.
“This is ridiculous! The appellate court simply wants to confer immunity on public officers from prosecution for corruption; it will not stand,” he said.