Law News
Goje forged document to get N5bn loan –Witness

A WITNESS has reportedly told a Federal High Court in Gombe how Senator Danjuma Goje forged a resolution of the Gombe State House of Assembly when he was a governor of the state, to collect a N5bn bank loan.

The witness, Shehu Atiku, a former Clerk of the Gombe State House of Assembly, said Goje forged the assembly resolution to obtain the loan from Access Bank.

This is contained in a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday.

The EFCC had arraigned Goje and four other accused persons on charges of “conspiracy, money laundering and embezzlement of funds belonging to the state government.”

According to Uwujaren, Atiku is among the three witnesses called by the prosecuting counsel, Wahab Shittu.

The witness reportedly told the court presided over by Justice B.O. Quadri, “My Lord, the said resolution did not emanate from the Gombe State House of Assembly and I was not a signatory to it.”

“As the Admin Officer of the House, I chair the Management Committee of the House, keep a record of House proceedings and maintain its records.”

Uwujaren said that Justice Quadri had to stop the proceedings due to an invasion of the court premises by suspected thugs.

He said that the thugs, who attacked the accused persons, succeeded in inflicting serious injuries on the second accused person, Aliyu El-Nafarty; and one other person.

Uwujaren said that the attackers also vandalised some vehicles, including that of the Defence Counsel, Paul Erokoro (SAN).

He added that the judge, who therefore adjourned further hearing in the matter to November 25, 2015, condemned the attack and directed both counsel to do a report on the violence.

Efforts to get the reaction of Goje failed as he refused to pick repeated calls to his mobile.

He did not also, as of the time of this report, respond to the text message sent to him in which one of our correspondents sought the ex-governor’s reaction to the story.

Meanwhile, the EFCC has declared a former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, wanted.

Uwujaren said in a statement on Monday that Maina was declared wanted over his alleged role in a N2bn pension scam.

According to the anti-graft agency’s spokesman, the commission had charged Maina alongside Steve Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited before a Federal High Court on 24 counts bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretences.

He said that while Oronsaye and the others, who were in court, pleaded not guilty to the charges, the PRTT’s former chairman was absent from court.

Uwujaren said that Maina’s counsel, Esther Uzoma, had appeared in court to tell the judge that her client was not at large when the bail applications were heard on July 21, 2015.

He explained further that the plea of the EFCC’s counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), to the court to prevail on Maina’s lawyer to produce him had not been honoured.

He said, “On July 21 when the court heard the bail applications of the accused persons, Maina through his counsel, Esther Uzoma, told the court that he was not at large, claiming that the EFCC had never invited him. Consequently, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, pleaded with the court to prevail on the accused’s counsel to produce Maina in court as the Commission had no clues as to his whereabouts.

“The court granted Jacobs’ prayers, yet Maina continued to shun court proceedings, leaving the Commission with no option but to declare him wanted.

“Indeed, since the Commission filed charges against Maina, more damning evidence has emerged on how the ebullient former Pension Task Team boss siphoned pension funds using secret accounts in a new generation bank in Abuja. Two officers of the bank were quizzed two weeks ago.”

Uwujaren urged members of the public with useful information on the whereabouts of the former PRTT Chairman to contact any of the commission’s offices in Lagos, Abuja, Gombe, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu or the nearest police station.

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