Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
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The trial of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Rickey Tarfa, for alleged bribery of judges continued on Monday at the Lagos High Court in the Igbosere area of the state.

Mr Tarfa is being prosecuted on 26 counts for among other things offering monetary gratification to two judges of the Federal High Court – Justices Hyeladzira Nganjiwa and Mohammed Yunusa – to allegedly pervert the course of justice.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claimed that Tarfa paid a total of N5.3 million in several tranches into Justice Nganjiwa’s account between June 27, 2012, and January 8, 2016.

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

The senior advocate was equally accused of age falsification.

At his arraignment on March 9, 2016, and subsequent re-arraignment on November 16, 2016, Mr Tarfa pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He consequently called a Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Mr Bello Okandeji, as his witness at the proceedings today (Monday).

Led in evidence by the defendant’s counsel, Jelili Owonikoko, Okandeji said he knew Tarfa very well as one of the counsels who appear before the Federal High Court in Lagos on a daily basis.

He explained that his appearance in court was based on a subpoena issued to him by the trial judge, Justice Adedayo Akintoye.

Okandeji, however, said he was not aware of any official complaint lodged with the Federal High Court authorities against Justices Nganjiwa and Yunusa.

He added that he did not know Justice Nganjiwa before his appointment as a judge, but knew that Justice Yunusa previously worked at the industrial court before his appointment as a judge.

The deputy chief registrar told the court in his testimony that only the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and the administrative judges in different divisions of the court were in charge of assignment of cases to judges.

Under cross-examination by the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, Okandeji said he was aware that the National Judicial Council had sent a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, recommending Justice Yunusa for dismissal, “but the President was yet to sign it.”

When asked if he would be surprised to learn that Justice Yunusa’s suspension had to do with the way he handled a case filed before him by Tarfa, Okandeji said, “What I know is that there was a petition before the NJC.”

Also responding to a question about whether constant private communications between a judge and a lawyer who has a case before him were part of the Federal High Court’s policy, he answered, “My Lord, it is not in our rule.”

Okandeji affirmed that the court’s rule does not permit a serving judge to open and maintain a bank account in the name of a company.

He further testified that it was improper for a judge to recommend a lawyer to a defendant before him and receive payment for the services.

The witness said that if the Chief Judge or the administrative judge were aware of the relationship between Tarfa and Justice Yunusa, they would not have assigned Tarfa’s cases to the judge.

He went on to highlight several payments made by Tarfa into the bank accounts of the two judges, reading from Tarfa’s statement of account, which had been admitted as an exhibit.

Further proceedings were subsequently adjourned till Tuesday, May 8.

Witness Accuses EFCC Of Lying As Rickey Tarfa Open Defence

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Rickey Tarfa, has on Wednesday opened his defence as one of his witnesses accuses the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of lying.

Rickey Tarfa has been arraigned by the EFCC on allegations of offering gratification to judges, alleged willful obstruction of EFCC officials, refusal to declare assets and giving false information to a public officer and lying about his age.

The Lagos High Court Sitting in the Igbosere area on Wednesday listened to his two defense witnesses.

During the hearing, Mr Mohammed Yinusa told the court that he owns the account into which the sum of N225,000 was deposited.

The EFCC had alleged that Tarfa paid the money into the account of Justice Mohammed Yinusa as gratification.

The witness, however, told the court that he read in the newspapers that his Access Bank account number was quoted as belonging to the judge.

READ ALSO: ICPC To Arraign Ex-Kebbi Gov Dakingari Over Fraud Allegations

The lawyer whose name is similar to that of the Judge says he was a former employee of Mr Rickey Tarfa between 2011 and 2014. After leaving the job in 2014, the witness said he travelled for further studies abroad, following which the SAN gifted him the N225,000 to support his education.

Yinusa said: “I found that my Access Bank account was quoted in that publication. I was in a state of shock.” “I was shocked, my Lord, because I am not a judge, I never received gratification from the defendant. My name is Mohammed Auwal Yinusa. The judge’s name is Mohammed Nasir Yinusa. I am not related to him. He is from Yobe State, I am Igalla from Kogi State. Until recently when I saw him on Television, I had never set my eyes on him.”

Under cross-examination by prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, Yinusa said other payments, which the SAN allegedly made to any other judge, were not made through his bank account.

Before this testimony, Yinusa’s relationship officer from Access Bank, Abisola Olutade, had testified as the first defence witness.

Her testimony was preceded by that of a National Judicial Council staff, Olufolake Saleh Ahmed, who tendered a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers and a revised Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of Nigeria.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye, therefore, adjourned further proceedings till Thursday, March 21.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Mr Rickey Tarfa on March 10, 2016, on a 27-count charge which was subsequently amended to 26 counts.

According to the EFCC, the SAN paid N225,000 in 2014 into an Access Bank account it said belonged to a Federal High Court judge, Justice Yinusa.

The agency also alleged, among others, that Tarfa offered N5.3 million as a gratification to another Federal High Court Judge, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa to compromise the judge.

The agency claimed that Tarfa transferred the money in several tranches between June 27, 2012, and December 23, 2014.

Tarfa pleaded not guilty to all the charges

The EFCC subsequently called six witnesses in proof of the allegations and closed its case against the defendant. But instead of offering a defence, the Senior Advocate filed a ‘no-case submission’ on the grounds that the prosecution had not succeeded in making any case against him. He urged the court to acquit and discharge him.

On February 9, 2018, the court dismissed the ‘no case submission and Justice Akintoye asked the defendant to open his defence.

Alleged Bribery: Court Dismisses Rickey Tarfa’s ‘No-Case Submission’

Alleged Bribery: Court Dismisses Rickey Tarfa's 'No-Case Submission'
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A Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island has dismissed the ‘no-case submission’ made by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa.

In her ruling on Friday, Justice Adedayo Akintoye also declined to award the sum of N520million as damages to the senior lawyer.

Mr Rickey Tarfa had alleged ‘malicious prosecution’ and asked the court to award the sum in his favour and against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

But the anti-graft agency had also instituted 26 counts of bribery and attempts to pervert the course of justice against the Tarfa.

In proof of its case, the EFCC called six witnesses and closed its case against the defendant.

Instead of offering a defence, the senior advocate, however, filed a ‘no-case submission’ on the grounds that the prosecution had not succeeded in making any case against him.

He further urged the court to acquit and discharge him.

While giving her ruling on his submission, Justice Akintoye held that the prosecution had successfully established the essential elements of the offences against the defendant.

“With regard to the defendant’s claim for exemplary damages for malicious prosecution against the EFCC, the court found no merit in the claim of N520m damages and same was refused,” she said.

The matter has been adjourned till March 13 for the defence to open its case.

Appeal Court Reserves Judgement On Rickey Tarfa’s Appeal

Appeal Court Reserves Judgement On Rickey Tarfa's AppealThe Court of Appeal, Lagos Division has reserved judgement in two different appeals filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, challenging his trial for alleged age falsification and obstructing officers of the law from carrying out their duties.

The appellate court presided over by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba reserved the two appeals for judgement after hearing arguments from the appellant’s counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) and that of the respondent, Rotimi Oyedepo.

Mr Tarfa had appealed against the rulings of Justice Adedayo Akintoye and Justice Aishat Opesanwo both of the Lagos High Court over their refusal to quash the charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is the respondent in the case.

The EFCC had initially filed a 27-count charge against the senior advocate before Justice Akintoye but through his lawyer, Abiodun Owonikoko, Mr Tarfa filed a preliminary objection and urged the court to quash the charges.

He claimed that the charge was defective and the EFCC had no statutory power to try him on the alleged offences.

He also argued that the proof of evidence supplied by the EFCC failed to support the charges.

But, Justice Akintoye in her ruling held that the objection lacked substance as the information filed before the court disclosed a prima facie case which must be addressed.

In refusing Tarfa’s claim that the charges amounted to a violation of his rights, the judge referred to provisions of the EFCC Establishment Act which imposed on the anti-graft agency “the statutory duty, obligation and mandate to investigate and prosecute all cases of economic crimes.

Justice Aishat Opesanwo on her part also dismissed Tarfa’s preliminary objection to the charge of obstructing officers of the law from carrying out their duties.

Dissatisfied, Tarfa appealed against the rulings and urged the Court of Appeal to declare the charge incompetent and allow his appeal.

The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba has adjourned the appeals for judgement, adding that the judgment date would be communicated to parties.

Alleged Money Laundering: Justice Ngwuta’s Trial Stalled

Alleged Money Laundering: Justice Ngwuta's Trial StalledA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has adjourned the trial of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, to January 18 and 23, 2017.

The Supreme Court Justice, is standing trial for corruption, alleged money laundering, breach of professional ethics and passport forgery related offenses.

The adjournment followed an application by the counsel to Justice Ngwuta, Chief Kanu Agabi, who told the court that he needed more time to prepare for trials as some documents given to him by the prosecution still needed to be studied.

This did not go down well with the prosecutor who urged the court to turn down the application.

However, trial judge, Justice John Tsoho delivered his ruling in favour of the defendant, Ngwuta, on the ground that section 36 of the constitution allows a defendant time to prepare for his defense.

He also added that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, also allows parties in a suit to at least five request for adjournment, afterwhich he adjourned the case.

Justice Ngwuta is one of the justices arrested and detained by the department of state services on October 8, 2016 for corruption and breach of professional ethics.

In November, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta had entered a not guilty plea to the 15-count charges leveled against him by the federal government.

He was also been granted bail in the sum of 100 million Naira on self-recognition.

Alleged Money Laundering: Justice Ngwuta Pleads Not Guilty, Granted Bail

Alleged Money Laundering: Justice Ngwuta Pleads Not GuiltyJustice Sylvester Ngwuta has entered a not guilty plea to the 15-count charges of money laundering, breach of professional ethics and forgery leveled against him by the federal government.

He has also been granted bail in the sum of 100 million naira on self-recognition.

When the charges were read to him, the Supreme Court judge told the court that he was not guilty of the 15 counts.

Attempt by his lawyer to ask for bail was opposed by the prosecutor, Mr Adeogun Philips who said he had just been served and would need a short adjournment to respond.

With no objection by the defence lawyers, the trial judge, Justice James Tsoho, stood down the case by two hours.

On resumption of hearing on the bail application, counsel to Justice Ngwuta, Kanu Agabi asked the court to release the defendant on self-recognizance, taking judicial notice of the fact that he is a justice of the Supreme Court and the fact that he has been on administrative bail since on October 8, 2016.

Opposing the application, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Charles Philips, said that the defendant cannot be granted bail with respect to his position.

Mr Philips, who referred to charges number three and charges numbers 10-16 against Justice Ngwuta, informed the tribunal that barely 20 minutes after he was released on administrative bail, Justice Ngwuta gave instructions to a witness in the case to remove two or three bags containing 27 million naira from his bathroom at his residence in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.

The prosecuting counsel also told the court that Justice Nwguta also instructed the said witness to remove three exotic cars from his residence on the same day and that they are nowhere to be found. That is what forms the subject of charge number three.

Speaking further he informed the court that in the course of investigation, the Department of State Services (DSS) discovered that Justice Ngwuta maintained multiple identities.

According to him Justice Ngwuta had four passports which he used concurrently.

Although he had reported two of those passports missing, he argued that in any jurisdiction in the world, if a person possesses several identities he cannot be released on self-recognizance.

He therefore asked the court not to grant bail but if it is inclined to, it should grant bail in the most stringent terms.

Reacting to the counter application, counsel to Justice Ngwuta, Mr Kanu Agabi, told the court that he was not willing to join issues with the prosecutor because he had gone into the substantive suit which is not allowed by law and that the constitution is clear as to when bail should be granted or not.

He added that should the court reach its conclusion based on the prosecutor’s submissions, verdict would have been decided before the case is started.

Having listen to both parties, the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho stood down the matter for ruling at 2:30PM.

Granted Bail

On resumption, Justice John Tsoho granted bail to Justice Sylvester Ngwuta in the sum of 100 million naira on self-recognizance.

According to Justice Tsoho though the prosecution sought to impress the court on the defendants’ unworthiness for bail, it failed to show that in spite of the concerns raised, the defendant had his administrative bail revoked.

He also added that it is no secret that the security agencies are watching every move made by the judge with kin interest, which is how they found that he had multiple passports.

As such the prosecution should rely on the same security apparatus to prevent any attempt not to be available for trial.

He added that it would be great injustice to prevent any citizen from enjoying bail in available offence.

According to Justice Tsoho, it is on record that the prosecution had filed an affidavit of completion of investigation and on the other hand it is raising objections that witnesses and evidence will be tampered with.

The prosecution, he said, should be able to maintain consistency rather than the inconsistencies.

Justice Tsoho then went on to say that there is no evidence before the court that Justice Ngwuta would not be available for his trial and because the offence for which he is standing trial is bailable, he is inclined to grant bail.

Trial has been fixed for December 7 and 8.

Justice Ngwuta was one of the seven judges arrested after a DSS raid on the homes of High Court and Supreme Court judges across the country on October 8, 2016.

Two Federal High Court Judges Report To EFCC

Judges in EFCC custodyTwo Federal High Court judges in Nigeria, Mohammed Yunusa and Hyeladzira Nganjiwa have reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Following an invitation letter the EFCC extended to them, the judges arrived at the anti-graft agency’s office at about 10:05am on Monday, October 17 in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

Their invitation was sequel to the alleged bribery and money laundering the commission discovered while investigating an ongoing case for which two senior lawyers had already been arraigned in court.

The lawyers, Rickey Tarfa and Joseph Nwobike, were arraigned by the EFCC before a Lagos High Court on March 9, 2016, on allegations of bribery and offering gratification to a public official.

Tarfa and Nwobike are facing criminal prosecution for allegedly offering gratification to Federal High Court judges, to refrain them from exercising the duties of their office.

Subsequent investigation revealed that the two judges allegedly received money from the two senior lawyers severally.

The judges were questioned by operatives of the anti-graft agency.

Anti-corruption War Extended To Judiciary

The anti-corruption war of the present administration has been extended to legal practitioners, with top judges being investigated.

On October 8, operatives of some security agencies raided homes of some judges and arrested some of them.

The Department of State Services (DSS), which carried out the operation with some police officials, said that the judges were being investigated for alleged corruption and misconduct.

Their arrest had whipped up diverse comments, with the Nigerian Bar Association saying it was unconstitutional.

The association further declared a state of emergency in the judiciary over the midnight arrest of the judges and demanded that they should be released unconditionally.

After days in detention and several other demands for their release, the DSS granted them bail on self-recognisance, with a mandate that they must report to the security agency’s office when needed.

630m Naira Fraud: Rickey Tarfa’s Client Know Fate April 27

Rickey TarfaRuling on the application filed by Mr Rickey Tarfa, seeking to quash the charge preferred against two of his clients, Gnanhoue Sourou Nazaire and Senou Modeste Finagnon, has been adjourned till April 27.  

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Lagos State High Court adjourned the case on Tuesday.

Both men, who are citizens of Republic of Benin, are standing trial for allegedly defrauding one Rachidatou Abdou and her company 630 million Naira.

Upon their arraignment on February 17, they pleaded not guilty to the charge.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Mr Tarfa filed an application backed by a 50 paragraph affidavit urging the court to quash the charge against his clients on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.

He also alleged that the charge was incompetent and that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was prosecuting his clients without any petition from anybody.

However, EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, in an 11 paragraphs counter affidavit, asked the court to assume jurisdiction and hear the matter.

Mr Rotimi stated that most of the averments contained in the first and second defendant’s application were false.

He said: “The Commission does not need a petition to prosecute a matter even though it received a petition from one Rachidatou Abdou through the Law Firm of Falana and Falana against the defendants”.

On the competency of the charge, the prosecuting counsel submitted that upon receipt of the petition, the Commission assigned a team of investigators to investigate the case and that investigation revealed that the defendants conspired to commit felony, forgery and stealing.

Mr Rotimi also told the court to dismiss the submission of the defendant, as the Commission was a Federal Government agency statutorily empowered to prosecute cases of this nature.

He added that the office of the Attorney General of Lagos State had through a fiat conceded its prosecutorial powers to the Commission to prosecute economic and financial crime related offences in the state.

The defendants are facing a seven-count charge of alleged forgery, stealing and conversion of funds.

One of the counts read: “You, Gnanhoue Sourou Nazaire and Senou Modeste Finagnon between 5 January and 31 December 2012 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with a dishonest intent, converted to your own use the sum of 141,460,915 Naira property of Rana Prestige Manufacturers Industries Nigeria Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 285(1) of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State”.

Justice Taiwo adjourned the case to April 27 for ruling.

Court Asks Rickey Tarfa To Face Trial

Rickey TarfaThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has asked Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, to defend the criminal charge against him before pursuing civil damages against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris on Tuesday upheld the EFCC’s preliminary objection to Mr Tarfa’s 2.5billion Naira fundamental enforcement rights suit.

The court ordered a stay of proceedings pending the conclusion of Mr Tarfa’s trial at the Lagos State High Court.

He had sued the EFCC for allegedly violating his rights after he was arrested on charges of obstructing the work of the commission and perverting the course of justice.

Mr Tarfa demanded N2.5bn as damages. He also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the anti-graft agency and its agents from further violating his rights. He also wanted a public apology, as well as the release of his telephones and SUV which were seized by the EFCC.

The EFCC, through their lawyer, Wahab Shittu, however filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the court’s jurisdiction on the ground that Mr Tarfa’s prayers following his arraignment on the charges at the Lagos State High Court had become academic and hypothetical.

Mr Shittu asked the court to decline jurisdiction in view of the pending criminal charge or in the alternative stay proceedings pending the conclusion of the criminal case against the Senior Advocate.

Justice Idris, however, dismissed the EFCC’s objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter but he agreed with the Commission when he held that it would be “inelegant” for him to make any orders that will undermine the authority of another court of coordinate jurisdiction or bring the judiciary to “ridicule”.

He noted that unless he stays action, there is a real risk of serious prejudice which could lead to potential injustice for the EFCC.

In the interest of justice, the judge ordered a stay of further proceedings in the civil suit pending the determination of the criminal proceedings before the Lagos State High Court.

Counsel to Mr Tarfa, Mr George Oguntade (SAN) declined to comment on the matter but counsel to the EFCC said that it was a brave verdict.

While the order to stay proceedings in this case subsists, Justice Idris said that the EFCC shall ensure respect for the fundamental rights and liberties of Mr Rickey Tarfa as guaranteed by law, including the right to have the criminal charge prosecuted expeditiously.

Mr  Rickey Tarfa was not in court for the verdict in his fundamental rights enforcement suit.

Court Grants Tarfa, Nwobike Bail

Rickey-TarfaTwo Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa and Joseph Nwobike were on Wednesday granted bail by a Lagos High Court on self-recognisance. 

The defendants were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), before two different judges of the Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island in Lagos State.

Mr Tarfa was arraigned on a 27-count charge bordering on ‎failure to declare his assets, making a false statement and offering of gratification to a public official.

A five-count charge of an alleged attempt to pervert the course of justice and also of offering gratification to a public official was preferred against Mr Nwobike.

Both men pleaded not guilty and were admitted to bail on self-recognisance.

The trial of Mr Tarfa has been fixed for March 22‎ and 23 while trial in Mr Nwobike’s case was adjourned till April 11, 21 & 22.

Rights Enforcement Suit: Court Allows Fresh Evidence Of Rickey Tarfa

Rickey-TarfaA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has allowed a Senior Nigerian lawyer, Rickey Tarfa, to file additional evidence in support of his fundamental rights enforcement suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Mohammed Idris on Wednesday, said that the EFCC would suffer no injury if Mr Tarfa’s “further and better affidavit” was allowed, stressing that it would better serve the interest of justice to allow the document.

Mr Tarfa had filed the additional evidence in opposition to an allegation by the EFCC that he offered a bribe of 225,000 Naira to Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court.

In the fresh evidence, a former member of  Tarfa’s law firm, one Mohammed Awal Yunusa, claimed to be the owner of an Access Bank account, which the EFCC had alleged belongs to Justice Yunusa.

The lawyer had earlier admitted that he and some friends donated the money to the judge for the burial of his father-in-law.

The EFCC’s counsel, Wahab Shittu, had opposed the fresh evidence, insisting it was an afterthought.

Justice Idris had ruled in Mr Tarfa’s favour on the grounds that a party should be allowed to bring any evidence or material that would aid his case.

Mr Tarfa had approached the court asking it to award him the sum of 2.5 billion Naira as damages against the EFCC over his unlawful arrest and detention.

Joined as defendants are: the Commission’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC operatives that arrested him, Moses Awolusi, and the Deputy Director Operations, EFCC, Lagos office, Iliyasu Kwarbai.

Apart from the monetary compensation, Tarfa also asked the court to compel the defendants to release his two mobile handsets allegedly collected from him on Friday, February, 5.

He stated that the EFCC intended to destroy all information, data and other retrievable materials stored in the two handsets.

Mr Tarfa also sought an order urging the court to direct the defendants to release his Mercedes Benz SUV with registration Number, KJA 700CG unlawfully seized from him.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also asked the court to order the EFCC, Magu and the other defendants to publicly apologise to him in at least two widely circulated national newspapers, on social media and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) as well as Channels Television within 24 hours from the day of the judgment of the suit.

He asked for an order of perpetual injunction restraining all the defendants and their agents from further violating his rights.

Hearing of the application has been fixed for Thursday, March 3.

Rickey Tarfa’s Change Of Affidavit Stalls Judgment

Rickey-TarfaJudgment in the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Suit filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, challenging his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was not delivered on Monday after Mr Tarfa put fresh facts before the court.

In the fresh affidavit, a former staff of Mr Tarfa’s law firm, one Mohammed Awwal Yinusa, said the 225,000 Naira, which the EFCC claimed was to bribe the judge, was actually paid to him.

The former staff claimed that the account number quoted by the EFCC actually belonged to him.

The case has generated so much interest and everyone was eager to hear the judgment of the fundamental rights enforcement filed by Mr Tarfa.

Mr Tarfa wanted the court to declare that his arrest and detention was illegal.

Amongst other things, he asked the court to award 2.5 billion Naira in his favour and against the EFCC, its acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu and two operatives of the commission, all of whom he listed as respondents in the suit.

But fresh facts brought by the senior lawyer stalled the judgment.

In a further and better affidavit introducing the fresh facts, a former staff of Mr Tarfa’s law firm, Yinusa, who shared similar names with Justice Mohammed Yinusa, claimed ownership of the account which Mr Tarfa paid in 225,000 Naira.

The EFCC had claimed that Mr Tarfa bribed the judge with the money.

Mr Tarfa had in an earlier affidavit said the money paid to the judge was a donation by a group of friends to commiserate with him over the loss of his father in law.

Mr Tarfa’s lawyer also said that it was in the interest and for the advancement of justice that the court allowed the fresh evidence for the effectual and effective determination of the suit.

But the EFCC said the action was an afterthought and an attempt to mislead the court.

The EFCC also told the court that Mr Tarfa in his extra-judicial statements to the EFCC consistently put his age at 43 instead of 54, a situation that Mr Tarfa’s lawyer said was a mistake which was corrected in the body of the statement he put before the court.

Justice Mohammed Idris has listened to all the arguments and fixed March 2 for his ruling on whether to allow Mr Tarfa adduce fresh facts in the enforcement of his Fundamental Rights Suit before the court.