Alleged Three-Man Thief’s Failed Attempt to Withdraw David Mark’s N45 Million Lands Them in Court

*Suspects allegedly forged Senate President’s cheque leaflet and signature

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday re-arraigned three men before an Abuja High Court for allegedly conspiring to forge the signature of the Senate President, David Mark, in an attempt to withdraw N45 million from his bank account in 2009.

The suspects, Emeka Ukor, Anthony Uzonwanne and Babayemi Bukola are being prosecuted on a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy and forgery.

They were arrested sequel to a complaint from the Senate President that the accused persons conspired and forged a cheque leaflet allegedly belonging to FinBank dated August 28, 2009 in an attempt to fraudulently withdraw the money from his account.

Count two of the charge reads, “That you Emeka Ukor, Anthony Uzonwanne and Babayemi Bukola, on or about the 5th October, 2009 within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory fraudulently moved a FinBank of Nigeria Plc cheque No. 00684074 dated 28th August, 2009 drawn in favour of Aeromagnetic Fishers Limited on the account of Honourable Brigadier General David Mark (rtd) in the sum of N45,000,000.00 (Forty Five Million Naira) with the intention of taking the said cheque dishonestly out of possession of the said Honourable Brigadier General David Mark (rtd), and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 286 (1) of the Penal Code Act cap.532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990 and punishable under section 287 of the same Act”.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, the prosecution witness, Benedict Agweye, who was led in evidence by counsel to EFCC, Shata Jamila, told the court that the FinBank cheque with which the accused persons attempted to pull out money from Mr. Mark’s account was forged.

Mr. Agweye said he came to this conclusion after carrying out series of forensic analyses on the document.

He said on receipt of the forged FinBank (now FCMB) cheque and the specimen of the genuine cheque, he commenced detailed analysis, including simulation of the signatures to be able to identify the existing characteristics in the disputed signature and the signature of the original owner of the bank account.

He said a stereomicroscopic analysis was also conducted on the documents in order to identify all of the microscopic characteristics in the signatures not normally observable with the naked eye.

Mr. Agweye told the court that a spectral analysis was also carried out on the documents using the foster and freeman VSC 5000. This, according to him, was done to enable side-by-side comparison of the documents under magnification and to also identify areas of obliteration and alteration in the disputed FinBank cheque and the known specimen.

The result of these analyses, according to him, revealed that the author of the known specimen signature was not the author of the disputed FinBank cheque leaflet.

The presiding judge, S. E Aladedoyinbo, adjourned the case to March 10.

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