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CBN: Documents approving $6.2m for election observers forged – Forensic Analyst

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By Tayo IDOWU

 

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama was told that the documents used to request the payment of $6.2 million for foreign election observers from the central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, under Godwin Emefiele’s watch were forged.

A forensic analyst, Bamaiyi Meriga, called by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), confirmed through forensic analysis that the signature on the document was forged, and the seal of execution differed from the original.

During the resumed proceedings, Meriga 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

“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.”

Notably, the signatures did not match those of former President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

In a twist during cross-examination, Meriga clarified that he was not an EFCC staff and received his salary from the Nigeria Immigration Service, challenging the defence’s portrayal of his role.

Despite objections from Emefiele’s counsel, Matthew Burkaa, about the witness’s conduct, the trial judge, Justice Muazu, admitted two documents, including a presidential directive on foreign observers, as evidence.

The trial is set to resume on March 11 for further proceedings.

The prosecution and defense continue to clash over the credibility of witnesses and the presented evidence in this high-profile case.

Emefiele is facing a 20-count amended charge, including allegations of corrupt advantages, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery, and obtaining $6,230,000 by false pretences.

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