An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s witness in the ongoing trial of Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN) has revealed how Tarfa allegedly paid money into the bank account of two federal High Court judges.
The witness, Tosin Owobo, said this while being led in evidence by the counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo.
Tarfa is standing trial before Justice A.A. Akintoye of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere.
The witness, who is an EFCC operative, told the court that in the course of investigation, the commission wrote letters to Zenith and Fidelity banks requesting information on Tarfa and Awa Ajia Nigeria Limited’s account.
The responses showed that the signatory to the company’s account was a Justice which was later found to be Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa.
Also featured in the statement of account was one Mohammed Nasir Yunusa, another judge of the Federal High Court.
The witness gave a breakdown of some transactions in the account linking Tarfa and the two judges from the statement of account received.
According to the witness, several payments were made into the account at different times by the suspect.
“On August 6,2013, a cheque of N500,000 was paid to H. A. Nganjiwa by Rickey Tarfa.
“On January 29, 2014, they discovered that H. A. Nganjiwa was paid the sum of N1.5m,” he said.
He narrated further that a cheque in the sum of N835,000 was paid to Nganjiwa on October 3, 2014. Also on December 23, 2014, he received N500,000 which was cleared from Rickey Tafar’s account. Another cash deposit of N1.5m was made into that account at Awa Ajia by Rickey Tafar.
He added that on October 27, 2015, a cash deposit of N1.5m was made into that account of H. A. Nganjiwa by Rickey Tafar. On December 30, 2015, there was also a cash deposit in the sum of N500,000. A cash deposit of N500,000 by Rickey Tafar was made to Awa Ajia Nig. Ltd. on January 8, 2016.
Owobo alleged that on November 30, 2015, there was a transfer from Hauwa Nig. Ltd. to Yunusa the sum of N200,000, also on December 15, 2015, a transaction of the sum of N500,000 to Yunusa.
He added, “On February 9, 2016, a transfer from Hauwa Nig. Ltd. to Mohammed Yunusa the sum of N300,000 was made. Also on transaction tickets which were issued to the bank with instructions which the account should be debited and credited, they discovered that the signature instructions were signed by Tafar.
“On June 28, 2012 the account of H. A. Nganjiwa was credited with sum of N500,000 and N1.5m from Rickey Tafar.
“On December 22, 2014, a deposit of N500,000 was made, and on December 11, 2014, the judge of Federal High Court, paid N3.5m to Rickey Tafar’s account.
“On 13th February, 2015 there was a transfer of N250,000 from Tafar to Nganjiwa, and on 18th June, 2015, there was another transfer of N500,000 to H. A. Nganjiwa, which were made by the same Tafar.”
The defence counsel, Abiodun J. Owonikoko (SAN), raised several objections to prosecuting counsel tendering some exhibits before the court, which the court overruled.
Justice Akintoye adjourned the matter till and October 13 and 14, 2016, for further hearing.