Alleged bribery: Court grants Rickey Tarfa leave for medical trip

Rickey Tarfa

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, has been granted leave to go on a medical trip abroad.

An Igbosere High Court in Lagos ratified his foreign medical trip on Monday.

Mr Tarfa is standing trial on a 26-count charge bordering on offering monetary gratification to two judges of the Federal High Court – Justices Hyeladzira Nganjiwa and Mohammed Yunusa.

He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Adedayo Akintoye on March 9, 2016.

Tarfa pleaded not guilty.

The senior lawyer was absent at the resumption of trial on Sunday.

His counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko, told Justice Akintoye that his client had traveled abroad for medical treatment.

He said Tarfa’s condition “was so bad that he had to travel for surgical operations.”

Mr Owonikoko added that his client would be away for three months.

EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, confirmed to the court that he received a medical report and a letter from the defendant requesting for vacation of Sunday’s trial date.

Mr Oyedepo, however, wondered why the defendant didn’t seek leave of court before embarking on the trip.

Akintoye advised the defence to ensure that Tarfa is in court on the next adjourned date.

She said: “I am giving the defendant the benefit of doubt based on the application before the court, he should be in court on the next adjourned date.”

The court adjourned till March 11 for continuation of trial.

In the charge before the court, the EFCC alleged that between June 27, 2012 and January 8, 2016, Tarfa paid N5.3 million in several tranches into Justice Nganjiwa’s account.

He was also accused of paying N800,000 into Justice Yunusa’s account in three tranches between February 9 and November 30, 2015.

The SAN was also accused of age falsification.