Hearing of Tarfa’s application to quash EFCC charges adjourned till April

Rickey Tarfa

Rickey Tarfa

Effort by Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Rickey Tarfa to quash the charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against him suffered a setback yesterday, as a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere adjourned till April 20 for ruling on the application.

Tarfa is standing trial before Justice Aishat Opesanwo on a two-count charge of obstructing officers of law from carrying out their official duties and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Justice Opesanwo fixed the date, after listening to arguments from counsel to the defendant, Mr. A. J. Owonikoko and that of the EFCC, Mr. G. K. Latona.

Owonikoko urged the court at yesterday’s hearing to quash the charges, adding that the EFCC had no right to prosecute any general criminal offences outside economic and financial crimes.

He said that the charges constituted an abuse of court processes and should be quashed.

He argued that by virtue of Section 286 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2004, the EFCC could not be a complainant, an investigator and at the same time a prosecutor.

However, EFCC counsel, Latona, urged the court to disregard the defendant’s submissions.

The defendant was arraigned by the EFCC on February 16, for allegedly obstructing their officers from carrying out their lawful duties.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria denied the charges and was granted bail on self-recognition.

EFCC had told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offences between May 11 and June 25, 2015, also on February 5, 2016, in Lagos.

It alleged that on February 5, Tarfa willfully obstructed one Moses Awolusi and one Sanusi Mohammed, who were EFCC officers, from arresting one Gnanhoue Sourou and one Nazaire Odeste.

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