The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday tendered a Mercedez Benz SUV with Registration No. KJA 700 CG, belonging to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Rickey Tarfa as exhibit in court.
A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Monday admitted it as exhibit, meaning Tarfa forfeited it for now.
The EFCC had tendered the key of the car before Justice Aishat Opesanwo to prove the charges of justice obstruction and perversion of the course of justice it filed against Tarfa in February.
The commission had on February 16, 2016 arraigned Tarfa on two counts before Justice Opesanwo, alleging that the SAN obstructed the arrest of two suspects of financial crimes by hiding the suspects in his jeep.
According to EFCC, Tarfa allegedly hid the accused, Gnahouse Nazaire and Senoue Modeste in the jeep, and placed a telephone call to Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court to corrupt the course of justice.
The anti-graft agency posited that the SAN violated Section 38(2) (a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004. An allegation Tarfa pleaded not guilty to.
On the resumption of court proceedings on the matter on Monday, the EFCC, through its operative, Moses Awolusi, tendered the key of the car as an exhibit in evidence against Tarfa.
“The car key is before the court as an exhibit, if I have the key, I have the car, but the commission should retain the custody of the car for safekeeping,” Justice Opesanwo said while admitting the car as an exhibit.
The second witness for the EFCC on Monday, Sulaiman Abiola, a lawyer, argued before the court that Tarfa indeed thwarted the EFCC operatives in the course of their lawful duty.
He explained that he was at the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere for a case on February 5, 2016, and witnessed how Tarfa obstructed operatives of the EFCC.
The witness who was led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. G. A. Lakanmi, told the court, “After the court proceedings at about 11am or thereabouts, the EFCC operatives, led by Mr. Moses Awolusi, were at the court’s car park to arrest the suspects in the case I came for.
“The operatives approached Mr. Tarfa and informed him of the plan to arrest his clients, but Mr. Tarfa asked for their identification and warrant, which they showed him. Mr. Tarfa later asked the clients to enter his car and instructed his driver to wind up the windows of the car and kept the engine running.
“Thereafter, he started making calls which I didn’t know anything about. It continued like that till about 5pm from the morning when Mr. Moses Awolusi now placed a call to his office and asked for reinforcements.
“It was about 5pm when the fuel in the car was about going down that the defendant (Tarfa) came down and his clients (suspects) came down from the car in order to refuel it. At that point, the operatives of the EFCC arrested the suspects and Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN).”
The case was adjourned till January 17, 2017.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
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