A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Rickey Tarfa, has filed a no-case submission in response to the criminal charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The EFCC arraigned Tarfa last year on 27 counts bordering on alleged bribery and attempt to pervert the course of justice.
Tarfa has been standing trial before Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere since March last year.
The EFCC, after presenting a total of six witnesses, closed its case on October 23, 2017, leaving the floor for Tarfa to enter his defence.
But at the Thursday proceedings, rather than open his defence, Tarfa, through his legal team, led by Mr. Jelili Owonikoko (SAN), Mr. O.M. Balogun (SAN), and Mr. John Odubela (SAN), said he had reviewed the case of the EFCC and came to the conclusion that he had no case to answer.
Owonikoko, who led the defence team, told Justice Akintoye that Tarfa believed that the EFCC had failed to establish a prima facie case against him to warrant him to enter any defence.
He urged Justice Akintoye to dismiss the charges and let him go.
“From our review of the case of the prosecution, we came to the view that a no-case submission will suffice as our response to this case.
“On the 9th day of November, we caused an application to be filed to pray Your Lordship for the discharge of the defendant on the basis that there is no case to answer,” Owonikoko said.
Counsel for the EFCC, Nnaemeka Omewa, confirmed that the anti-graft agency had been served with Tarfa’s 54-page no-case submission but said it had yet to respond.
Omewa pleaded for an adjournment to be able to respond to the no-case submission.
Justice Akintoye adjourned till December 12, 2017 for hearing.
The EFCC had arraigned Tarfa on March 9, 2016 on 27 counts, wherein he was accused of offering gratification to some judges to allegedly pervert the course of justice.
The anti-graft agency alleged, for instance, that Tarfa offered N5.3m gratification to a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, in order to allegedly compromise the judge.
The anti-graft agency claimed that Tarfa transferred the money in several tranches to the judge between June 27, 2012 and December 23, 2014.
The EFCC also alleged in the 27 counts that the SAN lied about his age and failed to declare his assets to the commission upon his arrest on February 5, 2015.