EFCC charges businessman, Bernard Nzenwa to court for fraud

EFCC charges businessman, Bernard Nzenwa to court for fraud

A Lagos Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja will, on June 14, 2023, continue the trial of a businessman, Bernard Nzenwa, over allegation of using

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A Lagos Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja will, on June 14, 2023, continue the trial of a businessman, Bernard Nzenwa, over allegation of using false document levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The trial judge, Rahmon Oshodi, fixed June 14 for continuation of trial after former Executive Director of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Mrs Omotola Olutola, testified and denied signing a document titled, Bond For The Re-Exportation of Imported Goods Delivered Without Payment of Import Duties.

Nzenwa is standing trial alongside his company, Omega Maritine and Energy Limited on one count charge of issuance of false document. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

When Olutola was led-in-evidence by the prosecution counsel, Gabriel Akaogu, she described herself as a legal practitioner and retired banker, identified a document in contention, which the court had previously admitted as Exhibit C1 in the matter.

The witness identified the document and denied being the owner of the signature on the said document. According to her, it is absolutely not her signature.

“It does not look even remotely like mine,” he said.

The witness was given a plain sheet of A4 paper and ordered by the court signed her signature 10 times on it to verify her claims.

The prosecutor thereafter cited Section 101 of the Evidence Act and applied to tender the signature specimens as evidence before the court, which was admitted in evidence following no objections from defence counsel, Clinton Eaezie.

Under cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, the witness told the court that she left the bank five years ago and wondered how she signed the document.

She said, “Bond at that time was ink and not electronic signature.”

The prosecution alleged that Nzenwa, his company and one Dr. Oluchi Nzenwa (now at large), sometimes, on March 9, 2011, issued a false document titled, Bond For The Re-Exportation of Imported Goods Delivered Without Payment of Import Duties, which he purported to have emanated from GTB.

Their offences contravened provision of Section 360(1)(b) and punishable under section 364(1) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011. After listened to her, Justice Oshodi subsequently adjourned the case to June 14, 2023 for continuation of trial.