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Court dismisses Ricky Tarfa’s objection, assumes jurisdiction to hear case




A Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, yesterday dismissed Ricky Tarfa’s preliminary objection to the charge of obstructing officers of law from carrying out their official duties and attempting to pervert the cause of justice.

In a ruling lasting for almost two hours, Justice Aishat Opesanwo, also assumed jurisdiction to entertain the two-count charge filed against Tarfa by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The embattled Senior Advocate of Nigeria had, in an application filed through his counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko, argued that the case was an abuse of court process and urged the court to quash the charge and decline jurisdiction.

Owonikoko argued among others, that the authority of EFCC to prosecute is limited to economic and financial crimes, which the alleged offences of obstructing officers of law and attempting to perverse the cause of justice were not.

He also argued that the commission had no powers to prosecute general criminal offences outside its jurisdiction, noting the allegations against Tarfa are the subject of an appeal before the Court of Appeal, and the charges constitute an abuse of court process.

Tarfa’s counsel further stated that by virtue of Section 286 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2004, the EFCC could not be a complainant, an investigator and at the same time, a prosecutor.

“The filing of this charge is a clear case of abuse of court process, therefore the proper order is to dismiss the charge,” he stated.

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