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N630m Theft: 2 Beninios, Rickey Tarfa’s Clients Faces New Charge

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wesnesday, said its has filed another amended 12-count criminal charge against two Beninoises,  Gnanhoe Sourou Nazaire and Senou Modeste Finagnon, before an Igbosere High Court of Lagos state.

The two Beninoises are standing trial for allegedly defrauding one Rachidatou Abdou and her company to the tune of N630 million.

At the resumed hearing of the criminal suit Wednesday, EFCC counsel, Kayode Oni informed the court of the amended charge and urged the court to allow it to be read for the pleas of tbe accuses persons to taken.

Lawyer, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN) however told the court that he had no objection to tbe readi.g of tje charge, but requested for an interpreter since his clients only speak French language. At this stage, the trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo directed the prosecution to provide an interpreter but none was available, consequently,
‘’we cannot proceed without an interpreter. The prosecution needs to expedite action in this case’’, judges Taiwo added.

The matter has been adjourned till October 31, for fresh arraignment.
The defendants were first arraigned on February 17, on a seven-count charge of forgery, stealing and conversion of funds.
However, they pleaded not guilty alleging that the charge was incompetent and that the EFCC was prosecuting them without any valid petition.

In dismissing the application, Justice Taiwo upheld the contention of EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, that the Commission received a valid petition from the complainant alleging conspiracy and stealing against the defendants.

The judge also held that Lagos High Court has jurisdiction to hear the matter and that the charge did not fall under the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

“I believe the High Court is endowed with jurisdiction to enter the matter,” the court held.  The stealing of company funds falls within the jurisdiction of the EFCC.

The combined effect of Sections 6(b) and 46 of the EFCC Act gives it power to entertain the petition written against the defendants.”

On if the charge is an abuse of court process, the court held: “The fact that the defendants have been arraigned before a sister court does not make the present case abuse of court process.

It would be recalled that Mr. Tarfa, (SAN), is currently facing Criminal Charge of pervartion of justice, before a Lagos High Court, over alleged keeping the two Beninios in his car When the officials of the anti-graft agency wanted to arrest them about three months ago.

Tarfa (SAN), is also facing another criminal charge of offering bribes to some Judges of Federal High Court.

One of the judges, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, has been compulsory retired from service over the said offence.

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