Emefiele: Forensic Expert says Signature used in requesting $6.2 million forged

From Lateef Taiwo

Forensic analyst, Bamaiyi Meriga on Thursday confirmed to the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja that the document used to request the release of $6.2million for foreign election observers by the Central Bank of Nigeria, was forged.

The witness, Meriga, called by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, informed the court that following the forensic analysis of the documents, it shows evidence of forgery of signature.

He also said that the seal of execution was different from the original.

He also confirmed that the signatures were not those of former President Muhammadu Buhari and the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

He said, “The conclusion from the analysis revealed that the disputed documents showed evidence of forgery and copying art as the pen movement form and formation of the signatures and the skill of execution were found to be different from that of the specimen signatures A to A2 and B to Bi”.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is standing trial before Justice Hamza Muazu on 20-count amended charges bordering on corrupt advantages, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $6,230,000.

During the cause of the trial at the previous proceeding, EFCC had alleged that on February 8, 2023, Emefiele, connived with one Odoh Ocheme, who is now on the run, to obtain $6.2m from the CBN, in the former SGF’s name in a letter dated 26th January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/.

EFCC also alleged that Emefiele, in January 2023, forged a document in the former President’s name dated 26 January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201 to obtains some money for foreign election observers.

At a previous proceeding where the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, was subpoenaed to court, he told the court that the documents were not from the former President Muhammadu Buhari or his office.

At today’s hearing, Justice Muazu admitted in
evidence, two documents which included the presidential directive on foreign observers.

Under cross-examination by Emefiele’s Counsel, Mathew Burkaa, the witness informed the court that he was not a staff of the EFCC, and he was not being paid by the anti-graft agency but rather his salary was domiciled with the Nigeria Immigration Service.

Burkaa, however expressed displeasure over the conduct of the witness, saying that the witness misled the court by evading questions.

The Prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, faulted the claims made by the defence counsel.

The trial was subsequently adjourned till March 11 for continuation.


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