Corruption Case: Prof Julius A. Okojie testifies for ICPC

As hearing continued in the forgery trial of Mr. Adedeji Charles Taiwo, a Protocol Officer with the University of Ibadan, a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Professor Julius A. Okojie, had testified that Taiwo forged his signature on an application letter for a travel document.

Taiwo is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) before Honourable Justice Olukayode Adegbola Adeniyi of High Court 20 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Apo, Abuja, for various offences.

Prof. Okojie who is Prosecution Witness 2 (PW2) presented by the prosecuting counsel, Osuobeni Ekoi Akponimisingha testified before the court that his attention was drawn to a request for Note-Verbale reference NUC/ES/439/VOL.10/152 of 12th July, 2016 in favour of one Mr. Jegede Lukmon Adeyemi to travel to Seoul National University, South Korea but that on close examination, he noticed that though the signature on the request letter was similar to his authentic signature, the colour of the ink used was however different. He stated that the ink was purple rather than the red he uses for endorsing official documents, and that for this reason, the letter was forged.

A second witness, Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunbanjo, an Officer of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja working under the  Director, Consular and Immigration Department, who was tagged Prosecution Witness 3 (PW 3) equally testifying  against Mr. Taiwo, corroborated the Prof’s testimony.

According to her, she met the defendant on the day he came to submit a request for Note-Verbale reference NUC/ES/439/VOL.10/152 which was later discovered to have been forged.

She noted that upon being queried on the authenticity of the signature on the document, the defendant confessed that it was forged in a business centre.

Mrs. Ogunbanjo added that following Mr. Taiwo’s confession, security officials were alerted and the case was handed over to ICPC for further investigations.

In addition to allegations of document fraud and forgery of signature, Taiwo is also being prosecuted by ICPC on a 4-count charge for making false statement and conferring undue advantage on the said Mr. Jegede Lukmon Adeyemi, which actions are contrary to and punishable under Section 363, 364 of the Penal Code CAP 532 Laws of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja 2006 and Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 respectively.

After listening to the testimonies, Justice Adeniyi adjourned the matter to 5th 0ctober, 2017 for defence opening.

The defendant had been arraigned July, 2016 by ICPC but had taken a not-guilty plea to the allegations levelled against him.

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