Emefiele used forged documents to obtain $6.2m from CBN, forensic analyst tells court

Central Bank of Nigeria CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele
Godwin Emefiele

A forensic analyst told Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja on Thursday that the documents which the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele 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 said the signatures were not those of former President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha.

Led in evidence by EFCC lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo, Meriga said, “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.”

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

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Under cross-examination by counsel for Emefiele, the witness said he was not a member of 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.

The trial has been adjourned till March 11 for continuation.

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

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

Mustapha told the court last month that he had no idea of the said money.