Court orders Tarfa to produce medical report over surgery claims
Justice Adedayo Akintoye of a Lagos High Court, Igbosere has ordered Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Rickey Tarfa to present a fresh medical report explaining his health status in his ongoing trial over allegedly offering bribe to two judges.
The judge made the order sequel to Tarfa’s application for more time to recuperate from surgery he filed before the court.
Tarfa is standing trial on a 26-count charge of offering bribe to two judges of the Federal High Court, Justices Hyeladzira Nganjiwa and Mohammed Yunusa as well as justice perversion brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The matter had suffered several adjournments since January 21 when Tarfa travelled abroad for a medical emergency. When he returned and came to court on March 12, 19 and May 8, he did not enter the courtroom but sat in his car claiming he was unable to climb the stairs.
His counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko informed the court that his client was unable to climb the stairs as he’s on a wheelchair. Owonikoko thereafter filed a medical recommendation from Tarfa’s doctors that stated that the defendant required a minimum of three months medical leave to enable him recuperate.
Justice Akintoye reasoned that Tarfa might be able to access a courtroom with minimal entry challenges, such as one on the ground floor and adjourned to find a convenient courtroom to continue the trial.
However, when a ground floor courtroom was cleared to enable Tarfa access the it to continue trial, Tarfa was nowhere to be found while his counsel told court that Tarfa was in the car with his physiotherapist. The EFCC counsel, Usman Buhari vehemently opposed his submission.
The judge ordered that before Tarfa’s application was taken she wanted to see a medical report on the defendant’s health from a general hospital or teaching hospital and adjourned further proceedings till June 21, 2019.