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.
Culled from saharareporters