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Forgery allegations surface in trial of former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele

Forensic Document Examiner Testifies to Alleged Forgery in $6.2m Central Bank Transaction Case

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In a pivotal turn of events at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja, a forensic document examiner, Bamaiyi Haruna, revealed damning findings, suggesting forgery in documents related to the release of $6.2 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria in February 2023. Haruna, an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), delivered his testimony on Thursday during the ongoing trial of the former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Emefiele stands accused, according to charges amended on June 18, 2023, of impersonating the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to orchestrate the illegal transfer of funds. The EFCC alleges that Emefiele collaborated with Odoh Ocheme, currently evading authorities, to execute the dubious transaction.

During the trial, Mustapha, the fourth prosecution witness, cast doubt on the authenticity of the documents presented, particularly highlighting discrepancies in the signatures and language used, discrediting them as genuine correspondences from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

Haruna’s testimony further underscored the suspicion of forgery, as he meticulously outlined disparities between the signatures on the documents and authentic specimens provided. His analysis pointed to inconsistencies in pen movements, loop formations, and other signature characteristics, indicating a clear departure from genuine signatures.

Following the presentation of the forensic report dated January 25, 2024, and associated documents, Emefiele’s defense, led by Mathew Burkaa (SAN), opted not to contest their admission as evidence. Justice Hamza Muazu marked the materials as Exhibits FDE, signifying their official inclusion in the trial record.

Under cross-examination, Haruna emphasized the reliability of his findings, despite not directly analyzing Emefiele’s signature. He clarified that EFCC operatives initiated the document submission process to his department for analysis.

The proceedings concluded with an adjournment until March 11, promising further scrutiny into the alleged fraudulent activities surrounding the high-profile case involving Emefiele and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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