Hearing in the prosecution of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Rickey Tarfa by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was, on Thursday, fixed by a Lagos High Court in Igbosere.
Justice Aishat Opesanwo, yesterday adjourned till October 24 and 31.
The judge told the parties that she was in ‘a poor state of health’ and had just suffered a flooded chamber from the rains of early this week which even affected some court documents.
The Commission was scheduled to open its case on Wednesday in Tarfa’s trial on a two-count charge of obstructing officers of law from carrying out their duties.
He was also accused of attempting to pervert the cause of justice by communicating with a Federal High Court judge that was handling a suit he filed against the Commission.
The suit was adjourned till yesterday because of the judge’s absence.
Tarfa is also facing two other criminal charges preferred against him by the Commission before Justices Raliat Adeniyi and Adedayo Akintoye.
When the matter was called, counsel to EFCC, Mohammed Abba, informed the court that the Commission had two witnesses in court who were ready to testify.
Defence counsel A. J. Owonikoko also indicated his client’s preparedness to proceed.
However, Justice Opesanwo informed the packed courtroom that she could not proceed with the trial.
“I must disappoint you gentlemen. I’m not in a good state of health. I just managed to strain myself to come here. I think I am really stretched,” the judge said.
She explained that her court had not sat since Monday because the courtroom had been affected by the rains and the judge’s chamber had been flooded.
Her words: “We baled out four buckets from the courtroom. Four buckets of water, you all saw it. Your colleagues came to sympathise with me the other day, they saw everything. My chambers was open. I still cannot sit in there because of the stench,” the judge said.
She added that even sensitive court files and other documents were sodden by the water.
Owonikoko urged the anti-graft agency to investigate the matter of how a judge’s chamber could be left in such a state that it could be affected by the rain water.
He said: “It is unheard of that a judge’s chamber will be flooded. I believe this is one of the things the EFCC ought to investigate.”
After conferring with counsel the judge adjourned till October 24 and 31.
“This matter has been adjourned on account of my poor health and surrounding matters, I thank you for your cooperation,” Justice Opesanwo said.