Court Resumes Hearing Of Fraud Case Against Goje
They are standing trial on an 18-count charge involving N25 billion brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Other accused persons standing trial with the former governor of Gombe State include Sambo Mohammed Tumu, Aliyu El-Nafaty, S. M Dakoro and M. Dakoro Gombe.
Yesterday’s proceedings were on alleged signature forgery of the Clerk of Gombe State House of Assembly, Mohammed Atiku, to enable Goje to secure a loan of N5 billion.
At resumption of proceedings, Benedict Agweye, a forensic document expert and Head of Forensics for the EFCC (PW4) told the court that on October 3, 2013, he received a letter signed by Olufunke Adetayo, Head of Economic Governance of the EFCC, titled ‘Investigation activities, forwarding of document for examination, comparison and report.’
The witness said two documents were attached to the letter, including a disputed document, titled, ‘resolution authorising his excellency, the executive governor of Gombe State to acquire loan of N5 billion and signed by Shehu Mohammed Atiku, the Clerk of the House of Assembly and a comparative signature specimen in a document that was marked A1 to A10.
“The nature of the request was for me to determine whether the author of the known requested signatures in the documents marked A1 to A10 also signed the signature of Shehu Mohammed Atiku on the document marked X,” he said
Agweye said having used three methodologies for analysis and following three principles that guide handwriting examination of that nature, he came to the conclusion that the author of the specimen in the document marked A1 to A10 did not sign the disputed statement of Shehu Atiku in the disputed document marked X therefore the document was forged.
The documents were tendered in evidence as Exhibits YY and Yy1.
At cross-examination, counsel to the defence Paul Erokoro (SAN) noted that Adetayo did not in her letter name the author of the 10 specimen signatures, neither did the Clerk reveal that 10 specimen signatures were taken from him when he gave evidence.
Erokoro argued that details of account given by the forensic expert while being examined did not reflect the details in his report.