The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division has reserved judgement in two different appeals filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, challenging his trial for alleged age falsification and obstructing officers of the law from carrying out their duties.
The appellate court presided over by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba reserved the two appeals for judgement after hearing arguments from the appellant’s counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) and that of the respondent, Rotimi Oyedepo.
Mr Tarfa had appealed against the rulings of Justice Adedayo Akintoye and Justice Aishat Opesanwo both of the Lagos High Court over their refusal to quash the charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is the respondent in the case.
The EFCC had initially filed a 27-count charge against the senior advocate before Justice Akintoye but through his lawyer, Abiodun Owonikoko, Mr Tarfa filed a preliminary objection and urged the court to quash the charges.
He claimed that the charge was defective and the EFCC had no statutory power to try him on the alleged offences.
He also argued that the proof of evidence supplied by the EFCC failed to support the charges.
But, Justice Akintoye in her ruling held that the objection lacked substance as the information filed before the court disclosed a prima facie case which must be addressed.
In refusing Tarfa’s claim that the charges amounted to a violation of his rights, the judge referred to provisions of the EFCC Establishment Act which imposed on the anti-graft agency “the statutory duty, obligation and mandate to investigate and prosecute all cases of economic crimes.
Justice Aishat Opesanwo on her part also dismissed Tarfa’s preliminary objection to the charge of obstructing officers of the law from carrying out their duties.
Dissatisfied, Tarfa appealed against the rulings and urged the Court of Appeal to declare the charge incompetent and allow his appeal.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba has adjourned the appeals for judgement, adding that the judgment date would be communicated to parties.
Source: Channels TV