Badagry Monarch mysteriously signed CAC Documents nine years after death, alleges SFU
The Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU) has alleged that the late Oba Afolabi James of Kweme, Badagry in Lagos, had mysteriously signed some Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) forms in 2011, nine years after his death on January 30, 2002.
The SFU, at an Ikeja Special Offences Court, yesterday, claimed that while investigating Semasa James, a son of the late monarch, accused of defrauding his 26 siblings of their N500million inheritance, it uncovered suspicious signatures purportedly signed by the dead traditional ruler in documents of CAJ Industrial Enterprises, the deceased’s company.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Prosecutor for the SFU, Oluwafemi Olabisi, to prove that the monarch’s signature on the company’s document was forged, had subpoenaed the CAC as a witness during the trial of Semasa and Afolabi Kazeem, his personal assistant, over the alleged fraud.
Representative of the CAC, Christopher Etim, a compliance official, who testified as the 13the prosecution witness, while being led in evidence by Olabisi, said he had brought before the court, copies of some CAC documents, namely Form CAC 2.1- particulars of company secretary, Form CAC 3- change of registered address and Form CAC 7, particulars of directors.
The CAC official informed the court that the late monarch’s signature and the defendant’s signature were appended in CAC forms in 2011 and 2012, adding: “In form CAC 7, James Afolabi Ogungbe, the late king, is named as the first director, the second director is named James Kola Semasa, the first defendant.
“On the column for remarks, it states appointed, and there are no directors aside the first and second directors.
“The signature on the second page belongs to James Afolabi Ogungbe and the signature was signed on November 28, 2011. The resolution is signed by the first director, James Afolabi Ogungbe. I arrived at that conclusion from Form CAC 7.
“Form CAC 2.1 is particulars of persons who is the company secretary or any person therein, it was signed by James Kola Semasa and James Afolabi Ogungbe on March 21, 2012.
“Form CAC 3 is the notice of situation or change of registered address. James Kola Semasa signed as a director in this form and there is a resolution attached to same, signed by James Kola Semasa and James Afolabi Ogungbe on November 24, 2016.”
While being cross-examined by the defence Counsel, Martin Oyigbo, Etim reiterated that although he was not a signature or handwriting expert, as a legal practitioner and compliance officer, he was conversant with the documents he presented before the court.
The witness also emphasised that the signatures in all the CAC forms he presented before the court were consistent and the same, noting: “When documents are presented for verification, all these stamps are not on it. If you look closely at these signatures, you will safely conclude that they are the same.
“The original resolution was signed by the same person. The signature on the left-hand side is James Kola Semasa, while that on the right is James Afolabi Ogungbe.
“These documents come before us at CAC every other day. I can safely say that these signatures contained in Form CAC 7 are the same in the other documents.”
Following Etim’s testimony, Olabisi informed the court that the SFU would be closing its case against the defendants.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until October 16 and 17, this year, for defence.
Semasa is facing a five-count charge of stealing, forging of company resolution, fraudulent disposing of trust property and forgery.
Kazeem and the Badagry prince are jointly charged with two counts of conspiracy to defraud and cheating.
The SFU alleged that the prince abused his position of trust as an administrator of his late father’s estate by fraudulently converting N500million property from 2000 to 2017 in Lagos.
The second count of the charge alleged that he had in 2011, forged the resolution of a company called CAJ Industrial Enterprises, dated November 28, 2011, purporting that it was signed by his father, who was one of the directors but had died nine years earlier.
It alleged that the defendant had forged the resolution with the intent that it would be acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of any person and had fraudulently sold a property belonging to the late monarch’s estate, located at Plot 1440, Ilesanmi Street, Itire Road, Surulere, to a private individual and illegally leased another estate property, located at Plot 282 Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos to Ecobank Plc.
The SFU prosecutor added: “Sometime in 2017 in Lagos, Semasa and Kazeem fraudulently tricked and cheated the beneficiaries of the late king of N150 million, which was part of the proceeds of the sale of a property located at Dideolu Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos.”
He also alleged that Semasa forged a purchase receipt, dated November 15, 2004 and an undated deed of assignment among himself, Bolarinwa James, Mrs. Alakija (nee James), Justice Adebayo Adeniji and Mrs. Saidat Taiwo, all in contravention of Sections 383(1), 383(2)(f), 390(9), 421,434, 465 and 467 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.