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Alleged Forgery: Criminal Charge Against Institute of Strategic Management Co-founder, Professor Mba Struck Out


BY FRANCIS IWUCHUKWU, LAGOS 

Justice Ayotunde Faji of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria has thrown out the three count  charge of forgery preferred against the Co-founder of Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria Limited, Professor Joseph Mba owing  to lack of diligent prosecution. 

It would be recalled that the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, of  the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria had on December 22, 2015 through its lawyer, Effiong Asuquo filed a three count charge before the court accusing Professor Mba for stating that the name of INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT NIGERIA LTD/GTE has been changed to INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT which document was purportedly signed by him and one Dr. Austin Uwandulu, knowing same to be fake, with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of the company.

It was further the contention of Asuquo that Professor Mba forged special resolution of an Extra ordinary General meeting of the institute in which meeting he stated that the following persons were appointed Directors of the company i:e Apostle Dr. Hayford ikpommosa, Alile  Mazi, Dr Sam Ohuabunwa, Major General Abduimalik Halilu Giwa rtd, and Dr. Austin Izagbo which document was purportedly signed by him and one barrister Samuel Ojo knowing same to be false with intent that it may  be acted upon as genuine. 

But the Professor pleaded not guilty and was granted bail with the case adjourned for trial.

While the trial lasted, the prosecutor had called one witness, and after the first witness abandoned the case.

But Justice Faji had on May 28, 2019 directed that hearing notice be served on the prosecution due to their several  absence from court proceedings. 

On the same day, Professor Mba's lawyer, Ike Uko had written to remind the prosecution concerning the case.

But after entertaining arguments from Uko to the effect that the defence had complied with the order of the court on service of hearing notice on the prosecution pursuant to which a counsel from the prosecution appeared and undertook to notify counsel on the record but neither the prosecutor nor the witness was present in court and urged the court to strike out the charge. 

In his ruling, Justice Faji held that, “The prosecution and witness being absent for five adjournments, it is hereby ordered as follows: That this charge is accordingly hereby struck out!

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