Court affirms Tarfa can change evidence national

By Lukman Olabiyi

JUSTICE Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday affirmed that Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Rickey Tarfa changed his evidence, deny­ing an allegation by the Eco­nomic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he paid N225,000 bribe into Justice Mohammed Yunusa’s bank account.
The lawyer had filed a fun­damental rights enforcement suit against EFCC after the agency arrested him for alleg­edly obstructing the adminis­tration of justice by shielding two of his clients from arrest.
The EFCC, however, filed a counter-affidavit in op­position to Tarfa’s suit, al­leging that the lawyer paid N225,000 bribe into Justice Yunusa’s account. At the time, a Federal High Court judge was hearing a suit in­volving Tarfa’s clients.
Tarfa admitted paying N225,000 into the judge’s account and insisted that the money was a contribution by Yunusa’s personal friends to support the judge during the burial of his father-in-law.
The suit, however, took a new twist when Tarfa sub­sequently claimed that the account EFCC claimed he paid the N225,000 into was actually owned by his former employee, Mr. Mohammed Awwal Yunusa, and not Jus­tice Yunusa.
The lawyer made the claim in a further and better affi­davit filed after the suit had been set down for ruling.
The EFCC, however, op­posed the competence of the further and better affidavit containing the fresh claim Tarfa made. The anti-graft agency’s lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu, argued that Tarfa’s new claim was an after­thought. He urged Justice Id­ris to refuse Tarfa’s applica­tion to furnish the court with the new evidence contained in the further and better af­fidavit.

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