Lagos - A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey
Tarfa, was on Tuesday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) in Lagos for allegedly obstructing their officers in
performing their lawful duty.
He was, however, granted bail on self recognisance by a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere on the island.
The media reports that Tarfa is standing trial
on a two-count charge bordering on obstructing officers of law to carry
out duty and attempt to pervert justice.
The EFCC Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the
defendant committed the offences between May 11 and June 25, 2015, also
on February 5, 2016, in Lagos.
He alleged that on February 5, the accused willfully obstructed one Moses
Awolusi and one Sanusi Mohammed, both EFCC officers from arresting one
Gnanhoue Sourou and one Nazaire Odeste.
Oyedepo said that the accused allegedly obstructed the EFCC officers
from arresting the two suspects who were ``reasonably suspected" to have
committed economic and financial crimes "by keeping the suspects in his
car between 11. 00 a.m. and 4.30 p.m."
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The prosecutor also alleged that between May 11 and June 25, 2015, the defendants attempted to pervert the course of justice.
"The accused attempted to pervert the course of justice by
commicating with Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa of the Federal High Court
through phone calls.
"The attempt to pervert the course of justice was done in two suits
filed by the accused on behalf of his clients, seeking to restrain the
commission from performing its statutory duties.
"The suits are No: FHC/L/CS/715/2015 between Rana Prestige Industries
Nigeria and suit No: FHC/L/CS/716 between Hair Prestige Manufacturing
Nigeria and EFCC, pending before the judge," the prosecutor said.
He said that the offences contravened Sections 38(2) (a) of EFCC
(Established) Act, 2004 and 97 (3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State
The accused pleaded not guilty.
Counsel to the accused, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), who led a team of
Senior Advocates, urged the court to grant bail to the accused on
He supported his bail application with a 27-paaragraph affidavit and a written address.
Akintola told the court that the offence was a bailable one, and that the accused came to court voluntarily.
He also said that the accused was granted administrative bail on self
recognisance, and had been reporting to the commission whenever he was
He assured the court that the accused would not jump bail if granted.
Also Read: EFCC arraigns Rickey Tarfa for obstruction of justice
"The accused has over 60 lawyers in his chambers, four law chambers
in the country and other affliated law offices outside Nigeria," he
However, the prosecutor opposed the bail application on the grounds that there were overwhelming evidence against the accused.
He told the court that the accused had not challenged the counter affidavit in writing, and should, therefore, not do so orally.
In her ruling, Justice Ashait Opesanwo granted him bail on self
recognisance and said that there was no denial to the obedience of the
accused on the administrative bail he was given.
She, however, ordered that the accused should not travel outside the Nigeria without the consent of the court.
Meanwhile, counsel to the accused notified the court that he had
filed an application to quash the charge which was served on the
prosecutor in the court.
The case was adjourned till March 14 for hearing of the application
quashing the charge and also adjourned to April 20 for trial.