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CBN Probe

No Forensic Examination Of Emefiele’s Signature – Witness



A forensic expert and witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Bamaiyi Mairiga, has admitted that forensic examination was not carried out on the signature of the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, who is being tried by the federal government over alleged $6.2 million fraud.

The witness made the admission under cross examination by Emefiele’s lawyer, Mr Mathew Burkaa (SAN).
Emefiele is standing trial for an alleged 20-count amended charge preferred against him by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (OAGF).
He was alleged to have engaged in criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to obtain by false pretence and obtaining money by false pretence when he served as the apex bank’s boss.

Among the allegations was that the former CBN boss forged a document entitled: Re: Presidential Directive on Foreign Election Observer Missions dated January 26, 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201 and purportedly to have emanated from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (AGF).
During the court sitting on Thursday, the witness, who is the sixth to be called by the prosecution, presented report of the Forensic Document Examination (FDE) carried out on the signatures of former President Muhammadu Buhari and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) , Mr Boss Mustapha.

According to him, his forensic examination was limited to only Buhari and Mustapha.
He told the court he did not carry out the forensic examination of Emefiele’s signature because the EFCC did not submit it to him, adding that he did not know why the defendant is standing trial.
He also admitted that the request for the forensic document examination was made by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


Earlier, Mairiga had informed the court that the signatures of Buhari and Mustapha were forged in two separate letters used to facilitate the withdrawal of $6.2 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Led in evidence by prosecution lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, the witness stated that he analysed documents carrying the “disputed signature” and the “specimen signature” in order to identify individual characteristics present or absent in each of the signatures.

He said, “Conclusion from the analysis revealed that the disputed document showed evidence of forgery and copying as the same movement in formation and the skill of execution were found to be different from that of the specimen signature.”
At the end of his evidence, Mairiga went ahead to tender the said documents used in the forensic analysis which were admitted by the court as exhibits.
Sources however wondered why Emefiele’s signature was not sent for forensic examination given that he was the first to raise an alarm after meeting with a special investigator, Mr Jim Obazee, that his signature had been forged.

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Obazee had late last year claimed that video footages showed Emefiele and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, dragging $6.2 million cash from the vault of the CBN.

The findings by Obazee subsequently led the federal government to amend the criminal charge against the former CBN boss before Justice Hamza Muazu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Emefiele, in the amended charge, was alleged to have, on February 8, 2023 knowingly obtained, by false pretence, $6,230,000.00 by falsely representing that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation vide a letter dated January 26, 2023 with Ref No. SGF 43/L.01/201 requested the CBN to provide a contingent logistic advance in the sum of $6,230,000 “in line with Mr. President’s directive.”


Source link: Leadership

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