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Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, has withdrawn the N5billion fundamental rights enforcement suit filed against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and four others for allegedly violating his right to privacy.

Following Tarfa's U-turn on the suit today, February 24, Justice Mohammed Idris awarded a punitive cost of N10, 000 against the lawyer in favour of the five respondents - the EFCC, its Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, Mrs. Rashidatou Abdou, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) and MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

Tarfa had filed the suit following his arrest on February 5 by EFCC operatives on the premises of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, where he allegedly hid two alleged suspects of economic and financial crimes in his car to prevent their arrest.

His two mobile phones and his Mercedes Benz SUV with Registration No. KJA 700 CG, were confiscated by the anti-graft agency.

READ: Rickey Tarfa denies paying N225,000 into Justice’s account

In his N5bn fundamental rights enforcement action, Tarfa had urged the court to declare that the respondents violated his right to privacy protected by Section 37 of the Constitution, when, without a court order, MTN allegedly made the call log on his mobile line, 08034600000, available to the EFCC and the others respondents, who in turn allegedly released the information to Sahara Reporters and other online media.

But a lawyer from Tarfa's chamber, O. Oladele, showed up in court today with an ex parte application seeking to withdraw the case. He gave no reason for the decision.

Reacting to the withdrawal, the EFCC lawyer, Wahab Shittu said; “My Lord, we have no objection to the discontinuance of the suit but we want the court to award a punitive cost against the applicant; our names have been flying around in the major newspapers since yesterday".

But in objection, Oladele argued that the counsels had no right to respond to his applicationand demanding cost because it was an ex parte application; and moreso that Tarfa had not served them with the suit.

Shittu argued that the EFCC was served the suit, but only by substituted means, given that the suit was widely reported in the newspapers.

In his ruling, Justice Idris however threw out the suit and ordered Tarfa to pay a cost of N10, 000 to the respondents.

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