By Innocent Anaba
Lagos—A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, adjourned till March 15, for judgment in a N2.5billion fundamental human rights suit by Lagos lawyer, Mr. Rickey Tarfa, SAN, challenging his arrest and detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Other defendants in the suit are EFCC chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, Moses Awolusi, who arrested Tarfa, and Deputy Director Operations, EFCC, Lagos office, Iliyasu Kwarbai.
Tarfe was arrested for alleged hiding two suspects, Nazaire Gnanhoue and Modeste Finagnon, both Beninoise, in his Mercedes Benz Sports Utility, thereby shielding them from arrest.
Trial judge in the matter is Justice Mohammed Idris.
Meanwhile, the EFCC, has further alleged that Tarfa, allegedly paid another judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, N5.3million between June 27, 2012 and December 23, 2014.
The commission said it uncovered a “network of collaboration and illicit transfer of funds” between Tarfa, Justice Nganjiwa and Justice Mohammed Yunusa, who EFCC alleged Tarfa bribed with N225,000.
EFCC alleged Tarfa paid a total of N5,335,000 to Justice Nganjiwa’s personal account with Fidelity Bank Plc.
It said Justice Nganjiwa then transferred N1.6million to Justice Yunusa through personal UBA Plc account, numbered 1005055617.
EFCC said it discovered that Justice Nganjiwa sent bank details of his company, Awa Ajia Nigeria Limited, to Tarfa, adding that the company was incorporated in 2006, with Access Bank Plc account number 0000971931.
The commission said Tarfa was a referee to Awa Ajia’s account, through which money was transferred to Justice Yunusa’s UBA account.
These allegations are contained in a counter-affidavit in opposition to a further and better affidavit sworn to by a lawyer Mohammed Awwal Yunusa in support of Tarfa’s suit.
At the hearing in the matter, yesterday, Tarfa’s counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, said EFCC goofed by stating that a lawyer’s bank account belongs to a judge.
He said the commission ought to admit its mistake when it discovered that it made a “fundamental error.”
“They should give in and apologise to the applicant,” Ayorinde said.
He said that EFCC was making “scandalous” allegations against judges instead of addressing the fundamental rights suit filed by Tarfa.