Documents EMEFIELE used to request $6.2m payment for observers were forged - Forensic Analyst tells court

Thursday, March 7, 2024 
The trial of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, continued at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja today March 7 as a forensic analyst, Bamaiyi MMeriga, confirmed that the documents used to request the payment of $6.2million for foreign election observers were forged.

The witness, Bamaiyi Meriga, called by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), informed the court that following forensic analysis of the disputed documents, he discovered that there was clear evidence of forgery of signature, and the seal of execution was different from the original.

He also confirmed that the signatures were not those of former President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

The two documents, Presidential Directive on Foreign Observer Election and Presidential Directive on Foreign Observer Election tendered in evidence were admitted in evidence by the trial judge, Justice Muazu.

Under cross-examination by counsel for Emefiele, the witness said he was not a staff of the EFCC and was not being paid by the anti-graft agency but his salary was domiciled with the Nigeria Immigration Service.

Counsel for Emefiele, Matthew Burkaa, expressed displeasure over the conduct of the witness, saying that the witness misled the court by evading questions.

However, the Prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, was not happy with the defence counsel.

The trial has been adjourned till March 11 for continuation.

Emefiele is standing trial before Justice Muazu on 20-count amended charges bordering on corrupt advantages, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery and obtaining by false pretences to the tune of $6,230,000.

He was accused of impersonating the SGF to illegally obtain a sum of $6.2m.

The former SGF however appeared before the court and said he knew nothing about the transaction up till the time he left office at the end of May 2023, adding that having served for five years and seven months, the document in contention didn’t emanate from the office of the then President Buhari.

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