Alleged Perversion of Justice-Tafar’s case stalled again
Posted: 12/Mar/2019

Lagos-The trial of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa (SAN) standing trial over alleged perversion of the course of justice before a Lagos High Court, sitting in Igbosere, was Monday, stalled due to the absence of the trial judge.

It was observed that the court was not sitting, and all the cases had been adjourned to further dates as displayed on the course list.

The case was adjourned until March 19, for continuation of trial.

However, no reason was giving by the court’s registrar. It was discovered that some judges went for judges’ conference.

Tarfa is facing a 26-count charge bordering on offering monetary gratification to two judges of the Federal High Court – Justices Hyeladzira Nganjiwa and Mohammed Yunusa and age falsification, preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.

At the last adjourned date, on January 21, the trial did not go on due to the absence of the defendant, Tarfa.

Tarfa’s counsel, Mr Jelili Owonikoko SAN, had told the court that his client traveled outside the country for medical treatment.

He said the condition of his client was so bad that it made him to travel for surgical operations.

Owonikoko said that Tarfa would be away for three months.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, however, confirmed to the court that he received the medical report and a letter from the defendant requesting for vacation of trial date to further date.

He, however, said that the defendant should have come to court to apply for leave to travel before embarking on such a trip.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye, however, urged the defence to ensure that the defendant appeared in court on the next adjourned date.

EFCC had, in their charge, claimed that between June 27, 2012 and January 8, 2016, Tarfa paid a total of N5.3 million in several tranches into Justice Nganjiwa’s account.

He was also accused of paying into Justice Yunusa’s account, a total of N800,000 in three tranches between Febuary 9 and November 30, 2015.

Upon his arraignment on March 9, 2016 and subsequent re-arraignment on Nov. 16, 2016, Tarfa pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail on self recognizance.

The Commission had since closed its case, and Tarfa, entered his defence after the court dismissed the no-case submission he filed.

Tarfa’s first witness, Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR) of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Mr Bello Okandeji, was yet to finish his cross-examination.