Fraud: EFCC Unveils Criminal Conspiracy Between Corrupt Judges And Rickey Tarfa

Chain Of Fraud: EFCC Unveils Criminal Conspiracy Between Corrupt Judges And Lawyer Rickey Tarfa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today in Lagos unveiled a criminal network of collaboration and illicit transfer of funds between Justice H. A. Nganjiwa and Justice M.N. Yunusa, saying that abundant evidence is available as to how the judiciary chieftains obtained and transferred huge sums of money between them.

The startling revelations are contained in a court counter-affidavit by EFCC Special Task Force (STF) member Moses Awolusi in response to an earlier affidavit by Mohammed Awwal Yunusa in the twisting and turning case against senior Lagos lawyer Rickey Tarfa, who is alleged to have bribed Justice M.N. Yunusa with N225,000 to pervert the course of justice.

Tarfa had instituted his case against his arrest by the EFCC in an effort to invoke his fundamental human rights.

About what the EFCC called a ‘chain of fraud’, Mr. Awolusi affirmed: “That through the above network collaboration, the Applicant between 27th June, 2012 and 23rd December 2014 paid the total sum of N5,335,000.00 (Five Million Three Hundred and Thirty Five Thousand Naira only) to Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa’s personal account number domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc, out of which the said Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa transferred the sum of N1,600,000.00 to Hon. Justice Mohammed Nasiru Yunusa’s personal account No. 1005055617 domiciled with UBA Plc.  A copy of the UBA personal account detail no. 1005055617 of Hon. Justice M.N.Yunusa is shown to me and marked ‘RT 3’.”

He said investigations further revealed that Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa also sent his company (incorporated in 2006) bank details of AWA AJIA NIG. LTD with Account No. 0000971931 domiciled with Access Bank Plc to Mr. Ricky Tarfa.

“That investigation revealed that the Applicant was a referee to AWA AJIA NIG. LTD’s account, a company, belonging to Hon. Justice H.A. Nganjiwa.  Now shown to me and marked RT 4 is a copy of the Account opening details of AWA AJIA NIG LTD owned by Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa through which medium money has been confirmed to be transferred to Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa’s UBA Account No. 1005055617.”

He also affirmed that as part of this chain of fraud, Mr. Joseph Nwobike also transferred the sum of N300,000.00 to Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa; and Justice M.N. Yunusa received the sum of N750,000.00 from Mr. Joseph Nwobike SAN & Co., showing evidence that the statement of Mr. Nwobike confirmed this payment to Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa.

Concerning Tarfa’s original N225,000 payment to Justice M.N. Yunusa, the deponent stressed that the cheque issued to the deponent attached as Exhibit ‘E’ was in the name of Mohammed Awwal and not in the name of Honourable M. N. Yunusa and was therefore related to a different transaction entirely.

He also pointed out that in the applicant’s further affidavit deposed to on February 19, he had admitted making the payment of N225,000.00 to Justice Yunusa, and that the circumstance surrounding the payment to the judge relating to the funeral rites his father-in-law was different from the course in which payment was made to the deponent by the Applicant’s law firm.

In a later development, the Federal High Court in Lagos today ruled that Mr. Tarfa can file a further and better affidavit to prove that the controversial N225,000 was not paid into a judge’s account but to a former employee of his law firm.

After hearing the arguments of both parties last Monday, Justice Ibrahim Idris adjourned judgment.

But before the judgment could be delivered today, a former staff of Rickey Tarfa and Co, Mr. Muhammed Awwal Yunusa in a sworn affidavit stated that he was the person into whose account Tarfa had paid the said money, contrary to earlier depositions that the money was paid into the judge’s account to assist him to bury his father-in-law.

This new evidence halted the delivery of the judgment more so as Tarfa through his lead counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, asked the court to allow him to bring the new evidence on his record.

But, EFCC lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu opposed the application to file the new evidence.

Ruling on the application, Justice Idris agreed with Tarfa and held that “in the interest of justice, a party should be allowed to bring any evidence or material that would aid his case.”

Further hearing in the matter continues tomorrow.

Full text of the affidavit:

IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA

HOLDEN AT LAGOS

FHC/L/CS/172/16

IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION BY MR. RICKEY TARFA SAN (TRADING UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF MESSRS RICKEY TARFA & CO.)FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF HIS FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS.

AND

IN THE MATTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS (ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE) RULES, 2009, MADE BY THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA PURSUANT TO SECTION 46(3) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (AS AMENDED).

BETWEEN:

MR. RICKEY TARFA SAN

(TRADING UNDER THE NAME AND APPLICANT

STYLE OF MESSRS RICKEY TARFA & CO)

AND

ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC)

IBRAHIM MUSTAFA MAGU RESPONDENTS

MOSES AWOLUSI

ILIYASU KWARBAI

COUNTER AFFIDAVIT IN OPPOSITION TO THE FURTHER AND BETTER AFFIDAVIT OF MOHAMMED AWWAL YUNUSA DATED 23RD FEBRUARY 2016

I, Moses Awolusi, Male, Nigerian, Christian, an officer attached to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of No. 15A, Awolowo Way, Ikoyi, Lagos do hereby make oath and depose as follows:

I am one of the Special Task Force (STF) Team 2A assigned to investigate this matter and the 3rd Respondent in these proceedings.

By virtue of my position, I am conversant with the facts of this case as deposed to herein and eminently informed and competent to depose to this Counter Affidavit on behalf of myself and the 1st, 2nd and 4th Respondents herein.

I have the consent and authority of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Respondents and its counsel to depose to this Counter Affidavit.

Except where otherwise expressly stated, all the facts deposed to herein are within my personal knowledge, information and belief.

I  have been shown a copy of the further and better affidavit of one Mohammed Awwal Yunusa dated 23rd February, 2016 together with the exhibits attached thereto and I respond to same as follows:

That Paragraphs 1,2,3,4 and 5 are facts within the knowledge of the deponent therein.

That in response to Paragraph 6, I know as a fact that the cheque issued to the deponent therein attached as Exhibit ‘E’ was in the name of Mohammed Awwal and not in the name of Honourable M. N. Yunusa and therefore the cheque related to a different transaction entirely.

That in further response to Paragraph 6 thereof, I know as a fact that in Paragraphs 35,36,37,38 and 39 of the Applicant’s further affidavit deposed to on 19th February,2016 the Applicant admitted making the payment of N225,000.00 (Two hundred and Twenty Five Thousand naira only) to Hon. Justice M. N. Yunusa as reproduced hereunder:

35. That it was common knowledge in legal circles that the Honourable Justice M.N. Yunusa lost his father in-law; Alhaji Audi GarbaDamasa on 28th December, 2013 in Maiduguri and travelled there to attend to the funeral rites.

36. That the Applicant and some friends of the Honourable Justice M.N. Yunusa made some donations towards the said funeral rites and to commiserate with the Judge since they could not physically go and commiserate with him in Maiduguri where he was and stayed for a while.

37. That the contributed monies amounted to N225, 000 (Two Hundred and Twenty-five Naira) which sum was given to the Applicant with the responsibility to get same across tot eh bereaved judge.

38. That the Applicant consequently made arrangements to forward the sum N225,000 (Two Hundred and Twenty-five Naira).

39. That I know as a fact that it is common in Nigeria for friends and well-wishers to contribute gifts in cash and kind to people who are celebrating or bereaved.”

d. That in further response to Paragraph 6, the circumstance surrounding the payment to Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa related to the funeral rites of His Lordship father in-law and different from the course in which payment was made to the deponent by the Applicant’s law firm.

e That in further response to Paragraph 6, I know as a fact that the facts established by our investigations as admitted by the Applicant is that the sum of N225,000.00 changed hands between the Applicant and Hon. Justice M. N. Yunusa different from the transaction described by the deponent.

f That in further response to Paragraph 6, the Applicant has not denied making payment to Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa independent of the transaction described by the deponent.

g That in further response to Paragraph 6, the payment to Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa of the sum of N225,000.00 to support funeral rites of His Lordship father in-law was an admission made by the Applicant on oath.

h That in further response to Paragraph 6, the payment made by the Applicant to Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa as admitted under oath was to establish proof of corrupt practices by the Applicant for favor in subsequent proceedings before Hon. Justice M. N. Yunusa.

i That in further response to Paragraph 6, investigations has further revealed as follows:

That investigation has revealed a network of collaboration and illicit transfer of funds between the Applicant, Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa and Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa respectively in unethical circumstances.

That through the above network collaboration, the Applicant between 27th June, 2012 and 23rd December 2014 paid the total sum of N5,335,000.00 (Five Million Three Hunded and Thirty Five Thousand naira only) to Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa’s personal account number domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc, out of which the said Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa transferred the sum of N1,600,000.00 to Hon. Justice Mohammed Nasiru Yunusa’s personal account No. 1005055617 domiciled with UBA Plc.  A copy of the UBA personal account detail no. 1005055617 of Hon. Justice M.N.Yunusa is shown to me and marked ‘RT 3’.

That investigations revealed that Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa also sent his company (incorporated in 2006) bank details of AWA AJIA NIG. LTD with Account No. 0000971931 domiciled with Access Bank Plc to the Applicant (Mr. Ricky Tarfa SAN).

That investigation revealed that the Applicant was a referee to AWA AJIA NIG. LTD’s account, a company belonging to Hon. Justice H.A. Nganjiwa.  Now shown to me and marked RT 4 is a copy of the Account opening details of AWA AJIA NIG LTD owned by Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa through which medium money has been confirmed to be transferred to Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa’s UBA Account No. 1005055617.

That investigation has also shown that as part of this chain of fraud Mr. Joseph Nwobike SAN also transferred the sum of N300,000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand naira only) to Hon. Justice H. A. Nganjiwa.

That investigations further revealed that Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa as part of this scheme of fraud also received the sum of N750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand naira only) from Mr. Joseph Nwobike SAN & Co. the statement of Mr. Joseph Nwobike SAN confirmed this payment to Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa is shown to me and marked ‘RT 5’.

That investigation has also shown that through analysis of the Applicant’s mobile phone Apple communication between the Applicant and Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa on his phone No. 08034600000 while the two suit No. FHC/L/CS/715/2015 between Rana Prestige Industries Nigeria and EFCC; and suit No. FHC/L/CS/716/2015 between Hair Prestige Manufacturing Nig. Ltd and EFCC filed by the Applicant were pending before Hon. Justice M. N. Yunusa

6 That in response to Paragraph 11, I know as a fact that Account No. 0060351694 is in the name of Mohammed A. Yunusa while the cheque dated 7th January, 2014 is in the name of Mohammed Awwal, a name different from the name of the Account holder.

7 That in response to Paragraph 13, I know as a fact that the payment received by  Mohammed Awwal is different completely from the payment of N225,000.00 admitted by the Applicant on oath to have been paid to Hon. Justice M. N. Yunusa for funeral rites of His Lordship father in-law.

8 That in response to Paragraph 14, I know as a fact that payment made by the Applicant to Hon. Justice M. N. Yunusa as admitted on oath by the Applicant was different from payment described by the deponent who is shown to be a Legal Practitioner even if the sum involved in each of the payment is N225,000.00 to Hon. Justice M.N. Yunusa and Mohammed Awwal.

That I make this oath in good faith conscientiously believing same to be true, correct and in accordance with the Oaths Act.

__________________

DEPONENT

SWORN TO at the

Federal High Court Lagos Registry, Lagos.

This ……………Day of …………………………2016.

BEFORE ME

COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS

Chain Of Fraud: EFCC Unveils Criminal Conspiracy Between Corrupt Judges And Lawyer Rickey Tarfa |

Sahara Reporters
http://saharareporters.com/2016/03/02/chain-fraud-efcc-unveils-criminal-conspiracy-between-corrupt-judges-and-lawyer-rickey

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