Emefiele: Documents used to pay election observers $6.2m forged, analyst tells court

A FORENSIC analyst has confirmed before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja that the documents used by former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele to request the payment of $ 6.2 million to foreign election observers were forged.

The analyst, Bamaiyi Merigaspoke while he appeared as a witness to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the trial of Emefiele on Thursday, March 7.

Meriga, who appeared before Judge Hamza Adamu, told the court that following forensic analysis of the discussed documents, he discovered clear evidence of forgery of signature and seal of execution different from the original version.


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Meiriga further verified that the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and former President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign the document.

The trial court, Muazu, admitted the two documents—Presidential Directive on Foreign Observer Election and Presidential Directive on Foreign Observer Election—as evidence.

On cross-examination by Emefiele’s lawyer, the witness claimed that he was not a team member of the EFCC and that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) was the source of his salary rather than the anti-graft organization.

Counsel for Emefiele, Matthew Burkaa, expressed his sadness over the witness’s behavior, claiming that the witness deceived the court by dodging questions.

However, the prosecution’s attorney, Rotimi Oyedepo, said he was pleased with the witness.

The trial has been postponed until March 11 for continuation.

The ICIR reported that at the last court sitting in February, a former SGF, Boss Mustapha, claimed that Emefiele presented fake letters to the presidency, headed by former President Buhari, to approve $6.2m for foreign election observers during the 2023 general elections.

Mustapha stated this on Tuesday, February 13, while giving evidence in Emefiele’s trial at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.

He exonerated himself and Buhari from the alleged fraud.

In his appearance as prosecution witness 2, Mustapha stated that although having served for five years and seven months, he was unaware of the transaction until the end of May 2023.

He claimed that two letters that were signed by Buhari and said to have come from the President were fake, while the letter credited to Buhari as the author did not come from the presidency.

He added that he was unaware of the SGF’s staff member named Jubrin Abubakar, who is said to have collected the $6.2 million cash on February 8, 2023, while being supervised by Emefiele.

According to the EFCC, which is presently prosecuting Emefiele, the former CBN Governor allegedly falsified the letters to deceive the Federal Government.






     

     

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

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

    During the Monday, February 12 hearing, the first prosecution witness (PW1), Onyeka Ogbu, described how Emefiele allegedly authorised the payment of $6,230,000 in cash for foreign election observers for the 2023 general election.

    Ogbu, the Deputy Director of Branch Operations at the Apex Bank, evaluated and approved the $6.2 million payment request for release.

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