Rickey Tarfa, SAN

By Moji Eniola

Ikeja (NAN) A detective with the Special Task Force team of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Danladi Daniel, on Thursday narrated how Rickey Tarfa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, allegedly had illegal communications with a Judge.

Tarfa, is facing a two-count charge of obstruction of justice and perverting the course of justice preferred against him by the EFCC.

Daniel made the revelations in an Ikeja High Court during the trial of Tarfa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), while being led in evidence by EFCC Counsel, Mr G.K Latona.

“On Feb. 5, 2016, two phones; a Samsung Galaxy phone and an iPhone belonging to Tarfa were given to me by the commission to analyse.

“I gave the defendant two telephone forensic forms to fill which he did and appended his signature in my presence,” Daniel said.

The detective told the court that his analysis revealed that the SAN was in communication with one Justice Mohammed Yinusa of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi in Lagos State.

“Part of the result of the analysis showed that the defendant was in the habit of making his cases go before Justice Yinusa.

“Results confirmed that there were communications between the defendant, his colleagues in the office and staff of the court.

“When cases were pending before Justice Yinusa, particularly in the month of May 2015, a staff from the defendant’s office, named Esther, made a cash deposit of N1.5million into Yinusa’s account,” Daniel revealed.

He also told the court that the Judge was invited by the EFCC for questioning over the alleged communication with the SAN.

“Justice Yinusa was invited by the investigators sometime in 2016; he honoured the invitation and was interviewed on the reason for the payment of the N1.5million into his account.

“The Judge confirmed that some money was paid into his account but he could not remember when it was paid.

“He went further to put his statement into writing,” the detective said.

NAN reports that Tarfa’s mobile phones which were seized by the anti-graft agency and used for the analysis were positively identified by Daniel.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Abiodun Owonikoko, however objected to admission of the records into evidence.

The records include details of the SMS extracted from the mobile phones, correspondences between the MTN mobile network and the EFCC as well as call records between Tarfa and the judge.

Justice Aishat Opesanwo adjourned ruling in the case until Feb. 13.

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