Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed March 15 to give judgment in the N2.5bn fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN) against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judge fixed the date on Thursday after entertaining arguments from the parties.
Tarfa, through his lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), argued the further and better affidavit he filed to support his case while the EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu, argued its counter-affidavit.
In Tarfa’s further and better affidavit, one Mohammed Awal Yunusa, claimed to be the owner of an Access Bank Account which the EFCC had alleged belongs to Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa of the Federal High Court.
Tarfa denied to have admitted bribing Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa with N225,000, as the EFCC had alleged.
But Shittu pointed the court’s attention to a further affidavit in which the head of Tarfa’s law chambers, John Odubela, had averred “that it was common knowledge in the legal circles that Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa lost his father-in-law, Alhaji Audi Garba Damasa, on the 28th December, 2013 in Maiduguri and travelled there to attend to the funeral rites.
“That the applicant (Tarfa) and some friends of Honourable Justice M.N. Yunusa made some donations towards the said funeral rites and to commiserate with the judge, since they could not physically go and commiserate with him in Maiduguri, where he was.
“That the contributed monies amounted to N225,000, which sum was given to the applicant with the responsibility to get same across to the bereaved judge.
“That the applicant consequently made arrangements to forward the sum N225,000.”
In response to Tarfa’s better and further affidavit, the EFCC, in a counter-affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, Moses Awolusi, claimed to have uncovered “a network of collaboration and illicit transfer of funds” in the judiciary, claiming that Tarfa was a major player.
Awolusi claimed that apart from Justice Yunusa, Tarfa also transferred a total of N5,335,000 to another judge, Justice H.A. Nganjiwa, between June 27, 2012 and December 23, 2014.