Alleged Inducement Of Judicial Officers: Court Dismisses Rickey Tarfa’s No-Case Submission
A Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere, presided over by Justice Adedayo Akintoye, Today dismissed the no-case submission initiated by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Rickey Tarfa currently facing trial for bribery.
The Court equally declined to award the N520million damages prayed for by the SAN against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), for “malicious prosecution.”
Recalled that the anti-graft agency had instituted a 26-counts charge that has to do with bribery and attempt to pervert the course of justice.
But after the EFCC closed its case against Tarfa, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, through his lawyer, Jelili Owonikoko, filed a no-case submission on the grounds that after reviewing the case of the prosecution, he came to the conclusion that his client has no case to answer.
In her ruling, Justice Akintoye held that the prosecution had established the essential elements of the offences which the defendant was charged with.
According to the judge, “What is expected of this court at this stage of no-case submission is to look at the evidence adduced so far and determine whether a prima facie case has been disclosed against the defendant.
“At this stage also, the prosecution is not required to have established its case beyond reasonable doubts against the defendant, as the guilt of the defendant is not in issue now.
“I have carefully evaluated the evidence so far with the totality of evidence adduced before this honourable court; it is my opinion that the prosecution has established the essential elements of the alleged offences with which the defendant is charged.
“The evidence of the prosecution witnesses has not been discredited by the cross-examination of the defence counsel to the extent that no reasonable tribunal will simply convict, based on it.
“I, therefore, hold that a prima facie case of failing and refusing to declare his assets, making false information to an officer of the EFCC and offering gratification to a public official as stated in the amended information filed before this court has been made against the defendant.
“Therefore, the defendant is called upon to enter his defence and the no-case submission filed on his behalf is hereby dismissed.
“With regard to the defendant’s applicant claim for exemplary damages for malicious prosecution against the EFCC, I find no merit in this claim of N520million damages and same is refused.”
The matter has been adjourned until March 13, 2018 for the defence to open its case.
Tarfa has been standing trial since March 2016, with the EFCC closing its case on October 23, 2017.