Senior Advocates of Nigeria Rickey Tarfa and Joseph Nwobike were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the Lagos State High Court on Wednesday.
The EFCC charged Mr. Tarfa with bribing public officials, obstructing an EFCC investigation, and failing to declare his assets. He pleaded not guilty to the twenty-seven-count charge that was read to him.
Prosecution counsel Rotimi Oyedepo requested that the court sets a date for Mr. Tarfa’s trial and that he remain in police custody until that date. SAN Bolaji Ayorinde, defense counsel to Mr. Tarfa, filed an application for bail on self-recognizance, which was granted by Justice A.A. Akintoye. The court adjourned the trial to March 22, 2016.
According to the EFCC and documents acquired by SaharaReporters, Mr. Tarfa gave federal judge Justice Nganjiwa Hyeladzira Ajiya funds in excess of N1.5m as well as over N500,000 to federal judge Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa.
Mr. Nwobike was arraigned before Justice R.I.B. Adebiyi on a five-count charge of bribing pubic officials and perverting the course of justice. The SAN admitted to giving N750,000 to Justice Yunusa, allegedly to pay for the treatment of his ailing mother’s kidney disease. However, Mr. Nwobike pleaded not guilty of bribing Justice Yunusa, an act that violates section 64(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.
Justice Adebiyi granted the defendant’s application for bail and set the trial dates to April 11, 21, and 22, 2016.