The on-going trial of Rickey Tarfa (SAN) was on Monday stalled due to the failure of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to provide the defence team necessary documents required for the trial.
Tarfa is facing a two-count charge of obstructing officers of law from carrying out their duties.
He was also accused of attempting to pervert the cause of justice by communicating with a Federal High Court judge that was handling a suit he filed against the commission.
At the hearing of the matter yesterday before Justice Aishat Opesanwo, counsel to the prosecution, Abba Mohammed, tendered before the court petition written by the prosecution witness, Awolusi Moses, intimating the Deputy Director of Operation, how the defendant allegedly prevented the arrest of the suspects.
However, in his reaction, the defence counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) objected to the tendering of the document, on the ground that it was not included in the proof of evidence filed before the court by the prosecution.
“The petition written by the PW1 was not front loaded in the proof of evidence of the prosecution.
The EFCC adopted a tactics of trial by ambush as we are never aware of the petition as part of proof of evidence contrary to standard rule of criminal procedure,” he said.
He added: “The whole world is watching the trial, more so the EFCC has finished the trial on the pages of newspaper and now cannot continue in court. We are shocked that since the last adjournment, prosecution has not done the needful to commence trial.”
Owonikoko further said his client has been out of practice as a result of the trial that is why we are ready to speed up the trial without delay. The whole world is watching.”
Irked be the action of the EFCC, Justice Opesanwo said she was irked by the action of the commission, adding that the matter is of public importance and interest. She added that the court vacated other matters earlier scheduled for yesterday to hear the matter but it was obvious the agency ‘ was not prepared for this trial.’
She therefore adjourned the matter till October 31,2016 for the ‘ prosecution to put its house in order .’