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Forensic report: What is currently up with Godwin Emefiele



Forensic report: What is currently up with Godwin Emefiele

Forensic expert testifies to forgery in $6.2m CBN scam case to indict former Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele.

In the ongoing trial related to the alleged $6.2 million fraud involving the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a Forensic Document Examiner seconded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Bamaiyi Haruna, revealed damning evidence of forgery during his testimony on Thursday.

Haruna, the sixth Prosecution Witness in the case, asserted that an analysis conducted on the documents used to release $6.2 million from the CBN in February 2023 unequivocally demonstrated forgery.

The documents in question purportedly linked the CBN transaction to a directive from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) dated January 26, 2023, with reference number SGF.43/L.01/.

According to allegations by the EFCC, Governor of the CBN, Emefiele, allegedly collaborated with Odoh Ocheme, who is currently evading authorities, to orchestrate the fraudulent release of funds from the CBN.

The anti-graft agency further accused Emefiele of forging a document titled “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS,” also dated January 26, 2023, with reference number SGF.43/L.01/201.

During the trial, former Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, disavowed the documents, asserting that they did not originate from former President Muhammadu Buhari or his office. Mustapha also clarified that the Federal Government had no involvement with foreign election observers, as purported in the forged documents.

Haruna’s testimony provided critical insight into the forensic analysis of the signatures on the documents. He highlighted discrepancies between the disputed signatures and authentic signatures of Buhari and Mustapha, indicating clear evidence of forgery.

The analysis focused on pen movement, formation of signatures, loop formations, and other individual characteristics, revealing inconsistencies that confirmed the documents were forged.

During cross-examination, Emefiele’s lawyer, Mathew Burkaa, sought clarification on the determination of signature similarities. However, Haruna emphasized the reliance on the forensic report as the basis for such determinations.

In response to queries regarding Emefiele’s signature, Haruna clarified that it was not analyzed as part of the investigation. Additionally, he revealed that EFCC operatives submitted the materials for analysis.

Following Haruna’s testimony, the EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), applied to tender the forensic report dated January 25, 2024, along with other relevant documents as exhibits. Emefiele’s legal team did not oppose the application.

Justice Hamza Muazu subsequently admitted the forensic report and associated documents as evidence, marking them as Exhibits FDE. The trial was adjourned until March 11 for further proceedings.