A former Executive Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mrs Olutola Omotola, on Friday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court that her signature was forged.
Mrs Olutola Omotola was testifying against one Bernard Nzenwa and his company, Omega Maritime and Energy Ltd, who are charged with conspiracy and issuance of a false document at an Ikeja Special Offences Court, Nzenwa, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Mrs Omotola, who described herself as a Lawyer and retired Banker, was given a document in contention to identify. The document entitled “Bond for Re-Exportation of Imported Goods Delivered Without Payment of Import Duties”, was previously admitted by the court as Exhibit C1.
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Omotola was led in evidence by counsel to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Gabriel Akaogu. The witness denied being the owner of the signature, on the document.
“This is absolutely not my signature. It does not look even remotely like mine”, she told the court.
The witness was given a plain sheet of paper on which, as ordered by the court, she signed her signature 10 times.
The prosecution counsel thereafter, cited Section 101 of the Evidence Act and applied to the court to allow him to tender the signature specimens in evidence. The specimens were admitted in evidence, as there was no objection from defence counsel, Mr Clinton Eaezie.
Under cross-examination by defence counsel, the witness told the court that she left the Bank five years ago.
The EFCC alleges that Nzenwa, his company and one Dr Oluchi Nzenwa (now at large), on March 9, 2011, conspired and issued a false document entitled, “Bond for Re-Exportation of Imported Goods Delivered Without Payment of Import Duties”, which he purported to have emanated from Guaranty Trust Bank.
“The present remuneration of Judges in Nigeria, cannot attract the best of hands from the Bar. In the old Western Region, in 1964, the Government paid Judges higher salaries than the Central Bank Governor. This was done, to entice the best of brains into the system. This impacted positively on the judicial system of the Region, at the time.” – Dr Bolanle Olawale Babalakin, SAN