N24bn Police Pension Fraud: Court admits more evidence against defendants

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The trial of Atiku Abubakar Kigo alongside five others before Justice Hussien Baba of the FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja, continued on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 with the judge admitting in the evidence, documents which the prosecution had sought to tender at the last adjourned date.

At the last adjourned date, the fourth prosecution witness, PW4, Mustapha Sani Gadanya, a staff of EcoBank, while testifying against the third defendant, Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula, presented bank account opening documents, account statements and Certificate of Identification, which were tendered in evidence by prosecuting counsel, O.A Atulagbe.

However, counsel to the defendant, Chuma Chukwudi, in his objection, argued that PW4 was not eligible to testify on the matter because the name and signature on the account opening documents he tendered do not belong to him, and that they were computer-generated. He cited Section 83 and 84 of the Evidence Act to buttress his position.

At the resumed hearing today, the Judge ruled that a computer-generated document is admissible in Court, provided the document is accompanied by a written Certificate of Identification by the appropriate authority. He also held that such document can be presented orally in Court, without the physical presence of the person who printed it.

The Court consequently admitted the documents in evidence and marked them appropriately.

Kigo, a former director in the Police Pension Office, is facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside five others on amended eight-count charges, bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N24 billion.

The trial continues tomorrow, March 17, 2021.

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