The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday asked a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa to first defend the criminal charge against him before pursuing civil damages against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Mohammed Idris upheld EFCC’s preliminary objection to Tarfa’s N2.5billion suit. He ordered a stay of proceedings until Tarfa’s trial at the Lagos State High Court is concluded.
According to him, a substantial part of the reliefs Tarfa sought have a direct bearing on the charge against him.
He said Tarfa’s vehicle and phones, which the SAN prayed the court to order their release, had been listed as exhibits in the criminal case.
“Also, it is clear that the information and data retrieved from the mobile handsets are to be used as evidence in the criminal charge pending before the Lagos High Court,” the Judge said.
Justice Idris said although Tarfa has the guaranteed right to be heard fairly and expeditiously, his fundamental rights suit does not supersede the criminal charge.
“It should be noted that this right does not stand above the country, the state or the people,” the Judge said.
Justice added that it would not be fair to the prosecution should Tarfa’s suit be decided in his favour before the criminal case is determined.
Make Money Online in Nigeria... Click HERE To Start Now!