Justice A A Akintoye of Lagos state high court sitting in Igbosere has dismissed an application filed before the court by Rickey Tarfa (SAN) challenging the jurisdiction of the court and seeking an order to quash the 27-count charge bordering on bribery.
The judge ruled that the court had jurisdiction to entertain the charges, and turned down Tarfa’s prayers for the quashing of the charges.
“This court has a jurisdiction to entertain the charges on this matter. The prayer of the applicant asking for an order on jurisdiction to entertain charges on this matter is hereby dismissed,” he held.
“The prayer of the applicant asking for an order to quash charges laid before the court is hereby dismissed. The prayer of the applicant asking the court to restrain EFCC operatives, staff, agents, or any person whatsoever to investigate and prosecute the defendant is hereby refused. The applicant’s motion on notice on 10th March, 2016 is hereby dismissed accordingly.”
One hundred and thirty-six lawyers, including 40 senior advocates of Nigeria (SAN), appeared for the defendant.
Justice Akintoye subsequently adjourned the matter to May 20 for commencement of trial and further hearing.
Tarfa was arraigned on March 9 by the EFCC on a 27-count charge bordering on alleged willful obstruction of authorised officers of EFCC, refusal to declare asset, making false information and offering gratification to a public official.
In February, EFCC operatives arrested him for allegedly shielding two of his clients from justice, saying that it obtained information which showed that Tarfa paid the money into an Access Bank account belonging to the judge.
Tarfa has denied the allegation, though, telling a federal high court in Lagos that the controversial N225,000 was paid into the account of Muhammed Yunusa, his former employee, rather than that of Justice Mahmud Yunusa as alleged.