A prosecution witness with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tosin Owobo on Thursday told a Lagos high court how Rickey Tarfa SAN allegedly falsified his age.
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Tarfa is standing trial before Justice A.A. Akintoye on a 27-count charge bordering on offering gratification to public officer, alleged failure to declare assets and false statement of age.
Owobo, an operative of the EFCC, stated that there were discrepancies in the age declaration that Tafar gave while answering questions at the commission’s office.
Owobo said that in the course of investigation, the anti-graft agency wrote letters to three banks, Zenith, Fidelity and GTB Banks requesting information on Tarfa account.
The witness said that upon the analysis of GTB Bank response, it was discovered that Tarfa was born on February 23 1962, while he claimed to the commission that he was 43 years old.
The witness further told the court that the GTB Bank account of the defendant was a domiciliary account which he made two payments.
He said that the defendant paid a cash sum of $10,000 into his GTB Bank domiciliary account on November 21 2013 and also a deposit of cash in the sum of $10,000 into the same account on January 29, 2016.
However, Justice Akintoye adjourned the matter till today for continuation of trial.
At the last adjourned date, Owobo revealed how Tarfa allegedly paid money into the bank account of two federal High Court judges, adding that EFCC wrote letters to Zenith and Fidelity banks requesting information on Tarfa and Awa Ajia Nigeria Limited’s account.
He also said that the responses showed that the signatory to the company’s account was a Justice which was later found out to be Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa.
The witness said this while being led in evidence by the EFCC’s counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo.
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 defendant
He further stated 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.
Also found in the transaction history was Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa of the Federal High Court. Owobo provided detailed information of transactions emanating from Mr. Tarfa to the two judges from the statement of account received.