$6.2m Scam: Forensic Expert Confirms Buhari Signature Forged

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News Investigators/ A forensic document examiner seconded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Bamaiyi Haruna on Thursday said the analysis conducted on the documents used to release $6.2million from the Central Bank of Nigeria in February 2023 showed that they were forged.

The EFCC had alleged that on February 8, 2023, a former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, connived with one Odoh Ocheme, who is now on the run, to obtain $6.2m from the CBN, claiming that it was requested by the SGF “vide a letter dated 26th January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that Mr. Emefiele, in January 2023, forged a document titled: “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS,” dated 26 January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.

At the last adjourned date, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, noted that the documents did not emanate from former President Muhammadu Buhari or his office.

Mr. Mustapha also told the court that the Federal Government had no business with foreign election observers.

Mr. Haruna, who is the sixth prosecution witness in the matter, stated that the real signatures of Mr. Buhari and the ex-SGF were analysed with the ones in the documents were not the same.

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 B1

“The form and formation of the signatures marked x and the specimen signature marked B to B1 were found to be different in respect of pen movement impulses, skill of execution, loop formation, and presence of tremors, there were individual characteristics. This is a confirmation that the author of the specimen signatures marked B to B1 does not rhyme with the signature of Buhari on the disputed document marked X.

“Also, the form and formation of the disputed signatures marked X1 and Specimen signature A2 were also found to be different in respect to pen movement impulses. Initial and terminal strokes, loop formation, presence of tremors, and individual characteristics. This is also a confirmation that the author of the specimen signature marked A2 did not rhyme with the signature of Boss Mustapha on the disputed document marked X1.”

Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo(SAN), applied to the court to tender the forensic report dated January 25, 2024, and other documents attached as exhibits.

Mr. Emefiele’s lawyer, Mathew Burkaa (SAN), did not oppose.

Justice Hamza Muazu subsequently admitted as evident and marked them exhibits FDE.

During cross-examination, Burkaa asked how would the court determine whether two signatures are similar or dissimilar.

The witness urged the court to rely on the report.

When asked if Emefiele’s signature was analysed, he said no.

Also asked if EFCC operatives submitted the materials analysed, Mr. Haruna said, “Operatives of EFCC submitted the request to the department. ”

Mr. Burkaa asked if they were the ones who pointed out the disputed signatures.

He said, “The submitting authority did”.

The matter was subsequently adjourned till March 11.
(Punch)

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