Witness reveals forged N3.2bn bank drafts fraud under former Abia Gov, Kalu

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[Lagos]–The ongoing trial of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, continued on Monday, June 5, 2017 before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court Lagos, sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, with a prosecution witness, Romanus Madu, Permanent Secretary, Government House, Umuahia, denying knowledge of some bank drafts that emanated from Fidelity Bank Plc during the administration of Kalu.

According to EFCC, Kalu is being prosecuted alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and his former Commissioner for Finance, Jones James Udeogu, for money laundering to the tune of N3.2 billion.

In his testimony, Madu, a former cashier at the Government House, Umuahia, during the administration of Kalu, told the court that he was invited by the Commission some years ago and was showed some documents, including bank drafts and cheques amounting to several millions of Naira that emanated from Fidelity Bank bearing his signature and handwriting as the marker.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, Madu, however, told the court that he was not a signatory to the bank drafts.

Madu, who is the fourth prosecution witness, PW4, also denied knowledge of the handwritten applications for some of the bank drafts bearing his signature and handwriting.

He further told the court that there were other fictitious names that appeared on some of the bank drafts.

The evidence against the defendants was tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibits E10 to E 69 by the court.
However, counsel to the defendants urged the court to reject the evidence on the grounds that “Madu is not an expert and does not have the special skill in giving evidence.”

In his response, Jacobs told the court that Madu was qualified and competent to give evidence on the grounds that his signature and handwriting were forged in respect of the bank drafts before the court.

Jacobs, therefore, prayed the court to overrule the objections of the defence counsel.

Justice Idris, after carefully reviewing the submissions of both counsels, adjourned the matter to June 6, 2017 to determine the authenticity of the signatories and handwriting applications.

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