Nigerian judge slams attorney's 90-lawyer defence team

The judge accused prominent Nigerian lawyer Rickey Tarfa of 'harassment and intimidation' after he arrived to face criminal charges in a Lagos court with 90 lawyers.

Andrei Tudoran

Mr Tarfa appeared at the High Court in Lagos to face charges brought by Nigeria's anti-corruption agency the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), including obstruction of justice and perverting the course of justice. However, upon arriving at the courthouse with a 90-strong army of lawyers, Mr Tarfa was reprimanded by Justice Aishat Opesanwo for harassment and intimidation of the court.

Bail granted

Mr Tarfa stands accused of impeding the arrest of two individuals wanted for financial crimes by hiding them in his car earlier in February. His second charge alleges that he perverted the course of justice by communicating via mobile with a judge overseeing a trial between the EFCC and two companies Mr Tarfa was representing. He has pleaded innocent on all charges, and was granted bail at his lawyer-flooded hearing. The trial has been adjourned to 14 March.

Sources: BBC; International Business Times

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