The planned trial of a senior lawyer, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), before an Igbosere High Court, Lagos was on Tuesday stalled as the defense could not opened its case, due to the absence of witnesses.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye had on the last adjourned date on February 9, 2018, dismissed A no case submission filed by Rickey Tarfa, had been dismissed by Justice Adedayo Akintoye, who ruled that he has a case to answer.
The court ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC had established essential elements of the offences it preferred against him and ordered Tarfa to enter his defence on the next adjourned date, March 13, 2018.
Justice Akintoye also dismissed a claim filed by the learned silk seeking N520 million from the EFCC as damages for alleged malicious prosecution.
When the matter came up yesterday, the defendant’s counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), informed the court that the defence cannot open its case as the witnesses they called said they have to be supbaenered by the court before they can testify.
He also said that the supbaerna has just been signed and that they need to serve the witnesses, and urged the court to adjourn the case so that service can be affected on the witnesses.
The EFCC’s Counsel Nnemeka Omewa, did not object to the adjournment.
Howeve,r Justice Akintoye adjourned the case to March 21 for the defence to open its case.
The Anti- graft agency had arraigned Tarfa on March 9, 2016 on a 27-count charge bordering on offering of gratification to some judges and perversion of the course of justice, which was subsequently amended to 26 counts.
Tarfa pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
The commission also alleged, that Tarfa offered N5.3 million gratifications to a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, to `compromise’ the judge.
EFCC had also claimed that Tarfa transferred the money in several tranches to the judge between June 27, 2012 and December 23, 2014.
The agency further alleged that the SAN lied about his age and failed to declare his assets to the commission upon his arrest on February 5, 2015.
The offences contravened Section 64 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.