Mr. Tosin Owobo, an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecution witness, in the ongoing trial of Rickey Tarfa, a senior advocate, on Thursday in Lagos insisted that the lawyer falsfied his age in the assets declaration form.
Tarfa is standing trial before Justice A.A. Akintoye on a 27-count charge bordering on offering gratification to a public officer, failure to declare assets and false declaration of age.
Owobo, an EFCC operative, made the revelation during a cross-examination at a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere on the island.
He said there were discrepancies in the age declaration form that Tarfa filled at the commission’s office.
The witness said in the course of investigation, the commission wrote letters to three banks — Zenith, Fidelity and GT Bank — requesting information on Tarfa’s account.
On the analysis of GT Bank’s document, it was discovered that Tarfa was born on Feb. 23, 1962 but from Tarfa’s international passport his age was 54, he added.
He said in the statement Tarfa made before the commission he declared himself as 43-year-old.
The witness further told the court that the GT Bank account of the defendant was a domiciliary account.
According to Owobo, Tarfa made two payments into the account — paid a cash sum of 10,000 US dollars into his GT Bank domiciliary account on Nov. 21, 2013 and also a deposit of 10,000 US dollars into the same account on Jan. 29, 2016.
However, Justice A. A. Akintoye adjourned the case till Oct. 14 for continuation of trial.
At the last adjournment, Owobo revealed how Tarfa allegedly paid money into the bank account of two Federal High Court judges.
He added that EFCC wrote letters to Zenith and Fidelity banks requesting information on Tarfa and Awa Ajia Nigeria Ltd’s account.
He also said that the responses showed that the signatory to the company’s account was that of a Justice which was later discovered to be Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa.
The witness said this while being led in evidence by the counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.
Also the statement of account of Mohammed Yunusa, another judge of the Federal High Court, featued.
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.
The defence counsel, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), however, raised several objections which the court overruled.
Owobo provided detailed information of transactions, emanating from Tarfa to the two judges from the statement of account received.