Court acquits Chinese directors of alleged forgery

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By Taiye Agbaje
A Federal High Court, Abuja has discharged and acquitted two Chinese; Hao Aijun and Liu Yangxi, and a Nigerian, Obi Anthony-Chibuzor, who were charged with conspiracy, forgery and fraud.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in a judgment, upheld the arguments of the lawyer to Hao and Liu , Akinlolu Kehinde, SAN, and counsel to Chibuzor, Anozie Obi, that the prosecution, represented by M. O. Omosun, failed to prove its case.
According to Justice Dimgba, from the totality of the evidence given in this case, most especially the testimony of the 1st prosecution witness (PW1), PW2 and PW5, none of their testimony has been able to link the defendants with any act of forgery.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants, who were directors of BN Ceramics Industry Nigeria Limited, were accused among others, of forging the company’s board’s resolutions.
A 13-count charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/77/2017 was preferred against them by the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police.
At their arraignment, they pleaded not guilty, following which the trial was conducted and the defendants made a no-case submission, which was partially upheld by Justice Dimgba.
The development led to the striking out of eight out of the 13-count charge against them.
The defendants subsequently entered defence in relation to the remaining five counts.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Dimgba discharged and acquitted them on the five counts.
Justice Dimgba upheld the arguments of counsel for the defendants that the prosecution failed to prove its case.
“Even the testimony of the handwriting experts and the reports of their findings, as manifested in Exhibits HA4, HA5, HA11 and HA13, did not link the defendants to the document, the signature of the PW1 said to have been forged,” he said.
The judge added that the prosecution failed to call necessary witnesses, who would have supplied vital evidence.
“Consequent on the above, I hereby find the defendants not guilty of the charges preferred against them.
“I hold that the prosecution has failed to prove the offence of conspiracy against the defendants by the standard required by law, which is beyond reasonable doubt,” he declared.
NAN reports that the police had filed the charge upon a complaint by one of BN Ceramics’ directors, Zhang Xing, following a boardroom disagreement.
In an earlier judgment, Justice Donatus Okorowo of FHC stuck out the civil suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/606/2016 filed against other directors of BN Ceramics by Xing.
Listed as defendants in the suit were: BN Ceramics, Hao, Chen Enlai, Liu Yangxi, Zhang Qide and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Justice Okorowo held that the suit was incompetent and that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it, the plaintiff having failed to comply with the condition precedent to initiating such an action.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
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edited by Sadiya Hamza

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