EFCC Arraigns Senior Advocate Rickey Tarfa For Obstruction of Justice

Rickey Tarfa (middle) surrounded by other lawyers

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Tuesday arraigned a respected lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Rickey Tarfa before a Lagos State High Court, in Igbosere on a 2-count charge of obstruction of justice and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The lawyer pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Tarfa is accused of obstructing operatives of the EFCC, Moses Awolusi and Sanusi Mohammed, from arresting two persons suspected of committing economic and financial crimes.

He is also alleged to have engaged in “improper communication” with a judge of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, between May 11 and June 25, 2015 while the latter was hearing a case between the EFCC and two suspects.

At the arraignment on Tuesday, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the accused to be remanded in custody while calling for a trial date to be set by the court.

But Tarfa’s lead counsel, Adeniyi Akintola, SAN, who led a 90-man team of lawyers told the judge that the defence had filed a bail application which was served on the prosecution on the February 10.

Oyedepo said in the application that the judge should consider the fact that Tarfa came to the court voluntarily and that he had earlier been granted administrative bail by EFCC on self-recognizance.

He added that the defendant was a very senior member of the bar with no criminal record and that there was no reason believe that he would jump bail.



    Oyedepo argued against the bail application, urging the court to dismiss it because of the gravity of the offence.

    Ruling on the bail application, Justice Aishat Opesanwo granted bail to the defendant on self-recognition but ordered him not to travel out of the country without the permission of the court.

    Justice Opesanwo complained about the large number of counsels in the defence team, saying that the mobilisation of lawyers amounted to harassment and intimidation of the court.

    The judge the adjourned the matter to March 14, for hearing of an application by defence counsel that the charge against the accused be quashed, while also fixing April 20 for the trial of the substantive suit..


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