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Emefiele: Documents used to pay election observers $6.2m forged – Forensic analyst




The trial of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, continued on Thursday before Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja confirmed that the documents used to request the payment of $6.2 million 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 that 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 with the same title, Presidential Directive on Foreign Observer Election and Presidential Directive on Foreign Observer Election, were admitted as evidence by the trial judge, Justice Muazu.

The witness claimed during cross-examination by Emefiele’s attorney that he was not an employee of the EFCC and was not receiving pay from the anti-graft organization but rather from 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 until 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 $6.2 million.

In mid-February, ex-SGF Mustapha testified before the court and said he knew nothing about the transaction up until 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.