Rickey Tarfa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) monday revealed why it is currently prosecuting the embattled lawyer, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), for alleged attempt to pervert the course of justice.

EFCC made this revelation in their counter-affidavit in response to the application filed by Tarfa urging Justice Aishat Opesanwo of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere to quash the charge against him before the court.

Tarfa was arraigned before the court on February 16, on a two-count charge bordering on alleged willful obstruction of an officer of the agency to carry out his duty.

While the second count alleged that Tarfa attempted to pervert the course of justice, but the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In the counter-affidavit filed by the anti-graft agency in opposition to the application to quash the charge, deposed to by one Sanusi Mohammed, an agent of the commission, revealed how the defendant allegedly committed the said offence.

In a 28-paragraph affidavit, Mohammed averred that in the process of investigating a petition dated December 16, 2013, the defendant filed two fundamental rights enforcement suits No FHC/L/CS/715/2015- Rena Prestige Industry Nigeria Ltd and Mr. Gnanhouse Sourou Nazaira V EFCC and 2 Ors and FHC/L/CS/716/ 2015- Hair Prestige Manufacturing Nigeria Ltd V EFCC and two others respectively at the Federal High Court, Lagos on behalf of his clients against the commission.

It stated that Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the court presided over the two suits in which he delivered judgment on September 8, 2015 respectively in favour of the defendant and his ‎clients, and that the court also awarded a total sum of N10million in the two cases as damages against the commission and two other respondents.

EFCC further stated that during the pendency of the proceedings in the said suits, ‎the commission received intelligence that the defendant was communicating with Justice Yunusa with a view to getting a favourable judgment against the commission.
The anti-graft agency also stated that ‎the investigation confirmed the report and further revealed that the chambers of the defendant were in the habit of instructing the registrars of the Federal High Court to assign matters being handled by the chambers to Justice Yunusa.

At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday which was slated for the hearing of the application, the counsel to the defendant, Nnaemeka Nigige (SAN) told the court that the EFCC served them their counter on Friday at about 2:50p.m., which made them not to be able to reply the counter until yesterday morning in the court.

The EFCC counsel, Gbolahan Latona, in his response, confirmed that they received further and better affidavit, adding that they needed more time to study the reply served on them.
However, the judge adjourned till March 21, for the hearing of the pending application.