Judge blasts EFCC over handling of Rickey Tarfa’s trial

Rickey Tarfa

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Tuesday lashed out at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over its shoddy handling of the criminal charge maintained against a respected silk, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN).

Tarfa is on trial for allegedly obstructing the course of justice in another case involving his clients.

The EFCC had, on February 16, 2016, arraigned Tarfa on two counts before Justice Opesanwo, alleging that the SAN obstructed the arrest of two suspects of financial crimes by hiding the suspects in his sports utility vehicle.

The EFCC claimed further that while allegedly hiding the suspects – Gnahouse Nazaire and Senoue Modeste – in his SUV, Tarfa made a telephone call to Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court to pervert the course of justice.

But the SAN had pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was arraigned.

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The Tuesday’s proceedings were, however, stalled owing to the failure of the EFCC to bring to court some of the documents it intended to tender to prove its allegations.

The EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Ahmed Latona, told Justice Opesanwo that some documents he intended to tender had been tendered in another court for proceedings in another case, adding that he had yet to get the Certified True Copies of the documents.

Latona sought an adjournment to give him theopportunity to tender the documents.

Tarfa’s lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), however, opposed the application for an adjournment, stating that the documents in question were tendered by the EFCC six months ago, submitting that the prosecutor ought to have got the original by now.

Justice Opesanwo expressed displeasure at the failure of the EFCC to have recovered the necessary documents, which were tendered in another court six months ago.

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“We gave the prosecution all latitude under the sun to establish the weighty allegations but they have yet to do so,” the judge said, while adjourning further proceedings in the case till January 26, 2017.