|Rickey Tarfa and other lawyers|
The Commission accused Tarfa of bribery and unlawful obstruction of public officers.
The trial began in March last year before Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere.
EFCC called five witnesses in the trial and tendered 20 exhibits.
Rather than open his case, Tarfa filed a no-case submission, contending that EFCC did not sufficiently prove the case to warrant him opening his defence.
He urged the court to dismiss the charge and discharge him on the basis that he has no case to answer.
But, EFCC, in the counter-affidavit deposed to by an operative, Zakari Usman, said the prosecution made out a prima facie (evident) case against Tarfa based on witness testimonies and tendered exhibits.
“The evidence of the prosecution witness is strong and un-discredited. This Honourable Court can rely on it to safely convict the applicant.
“The applicant has a case to answer in view of the overwhelming evidence adduced by the prosecution in the course of the applicant’s trial,” Usman said.
EFCC said in view of the evidence led by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Tarfa ought to be called upon to open his defence.
The Commission urged the court to dismiss the lawyer’s application that he be discharged and acquitted.
The prosecution added that the charge was not an abuse of prosecutorial powers.
“The Commission did not need a petition or complaint to cause investigation to be conducted on any person who is reasonably suspected to have committed economic and financial related crimes,” the deponent said.
According to Usman, the EFCC through its officers investigated the case discretely and professionally, adding that the Commission diligently prosecuted the defendant.
“The applicant is not entitled to any exemplary damages as the prosecution of this case against the applicant was not malicious.
“It will be in the interest of justice to refuse this application, more so when the evidence adduced by the prosecution against the applicant before this honourable court clearly established a prima facie case against the applicant,” EFCC said.
The EFCC arraigned Tarfa on March 10, last year, on a 27-count charge which was amended to 26 counts.
He was accused of willful obstruction of authorised EFCC officials, refusal to declare assets and giving false information to a public officer.
The agency also alleged, among others, that Tarfa offered N5.3million gratification to Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in order to compromise the judge.