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Gratification : Senior lawyer, Tarfa fails to open defence

Senior lawyer, Tarfa fails to open defence

embattled Senior Advocate of Nigeria ( SAN ), Ricky Tarfa who facing trial over the alleged offering of gratification to some judges yesterday failed to open his defence before the Lagos State High Court Igbosere. due to the absence of witnesses.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye had on the last adjourned date on February 9, 2018, dismissed a no case submission filed by Tarfa and ruled that he has a case to answer, as the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (  EFCC) had established essential elements of the offences it preferred against him.

Justice Akintoye, however, ordered Tarfa to enter his defence on the next adjourned date, March 13, 2018.

She had also dismissed a claim filed by the Learned Silk seeking N520 million from the EFCC as damages for alleged malicious prosecution.

But at the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the defendant’s counsel Abiodun Owonikoko, informed the court that the defence cannot open its case as the witnesses they called said they have to be subpoena by the court before they can testify.

He also said that the subpoena has just been signed and that they need to serve the witnesses, and urged the court to adjourn the case so that service can be affected by the witnesses.

The EFCC’s Counsel Nnemeka Omewa, did not object to the adjournment.

Justice Akintoye has adjourned the case to March 21-22, for the defence to open its case.

The Anti-graft agency had arraigned Tarfa on March 9, 2016, on a 27-count charge bordering on the offering of gratification to some judges and perversion of the course of justice,  which was subsequently amended to 26 counts.

The commission also alleged that Tarfa offered N5.3 million gratification to a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, to `compromise’ the judge.

EFCC  had also claimed that Tarfa transferred the money in several tranches to the judge between June 27, 2012, and December 23, 2014.

The agency further alleged that the SAN lied about his age and failed to declare his assets to the commission upon his arrest on February 5, 2015.

The offences contravened Section 64 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 201

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