How 2 Bankers Forged EFCC Certificate Of Registration
A witness in the on going trial of two bankers: Ebenezer Joshua and Franca Johnson who allegedly forged the certificates of Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) today, February 18, 2018, told the Kebbi State High Court how their investigation uncovered the alleged forgery.
In his evidence in chief, PW6, Joshua Edward Mamza a staff of the Commission and the Head if ICT unit in SCUML informed the court that his unit maintained the online registration platform of the designated non financial institutions such as car dealers, hotels, etc.
He further informed the court that when applicants for certificate register online, his department, SCUML process their certificate while the ICT unit prints it out.
Joshua explained to the court that before certificates are issued to any applicant, certain ingredients must be met. “Before issuing any certificate, the DNFIU will upload all their documents to Corporate Affairs Commission, (CAC)”.
Secondly, before the print out, nine numerical numbers will be generated which are divided into 3, the first 2 digits represent the city where the company is located, the second 2 digits signifies the sector code and the last five digits signifies the serial number of the registered company. He said that in the instance case, the registration number of the certificate in dispute which was admitted in evidence as exhibit A did not comply with the rules.
When asked what the state code number for Birnin Kebbi is, the witness said it was 22 while that of Sokoto is 34. According to the witness the first two digits that was supposed to represent the state on the disputed certificate, is 34 as against 22 and yet the NGO is domiciled in Kebbi.
Prosecution counsel, Rimamssomte Eziekel, asked the witness if he could see any disparity between exhibit A, the disputed certificate and exhibit H that was allegedly used to forge exhibit A, to which he responded that they are one and the same.
“Exhibit A, Nobel Women for Better Tomorrow Initiative with registration number 341600002 is not supposed to have the registration number number it was bearing. Reason being that the Nobel Women for Better Tomorrow Initiative is an NGO domiciled in Kebbi and the code of Kebbi is 22 as against 34 and sector code should have been 14 as against 16”.
The witness added.
The witness concluded his evidence by confirming that exhibit A, Nobel Women for Better Tomorrow Initiative, with registration number 341600002 is not registered with EFCC.
During cross examination, the witness denied that exhibit A, E and H emanated from Nigeria Security, Print and Minting (NSPM) which was shown on the certificates. He however confirmed that exhibits E and H emanated from EFCC.
“Database is not just computer. It is a comprehensive room where all electronic records are saved. A database can be saved in a computer.” The witness said when the question was put to him by counsel, representing the first accused person, Chief Magnus Ihejirikha.
On exhibit D, the witness declined any comment because according to him, the document was just a forensic report which did not emanate from his department.
The witness finally informed the court that the forensic department of the Commission have nothing to do with printing of certificate. He said this while responding to question put to him by the counsel representing the second accused person, Husain Zakariyya.
Earlier during the trial, PW5, Effa I. Okim, concluded his cross examination during which he informed the court that his investigation revealed that the certificates in dispute were forged in a business centre in Birnin Kebbi. He further told the court that the accused persons are not supposed to sign on the forensic report when the question was put to him by the counsel representing the second accused person.
I would be recalled that the accused persons were arraigned by the Commission on the 31st day of July, 2017 before the Kebbi State High Court on a three count charge of forgery.
Upon arraignment, they both pleaded not guilty and the case was adjourned to October 4 and 5 for the commencement of trial.
The case has been adjourned to 1st March, 2018 for continuation of trial.
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