The police have arraigned a 45-year-old lawyer, Emekoba Russell, in a Wuse Zone II Magistrates’ Court for allegedly forging his client’s signature.
Court papers identify the client as Hadiza Ujaj, owner of a property at No 364, Zone 6, Dutse Alhaji, Abuja, which is at the centre of the case. According to the police, Russell of Zone 6, Dutse Alhaji, Abuja , forged Ujaj’s signature on an irrevocable power of attorney executed in his favour.
The NAN Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendant was arraigned on a four-count charge of forgery, using as genuine a forged document, criminal misappropriation and criminal intimidation. He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Mr Edwin Inegbenoise, told the court that the case was reported by the nominal complainant through a petition, Ujaj, sent to the Inspector General of Police dated Nov. 9, 2022.
Inegbenoise said the complainant only had an oral agreement with the defendant to manage the said property, but the defendant went behind to back the agreement with a power of attorney bearing the complainant’s forged signature. He said the defendant had been receiving rent on the property on behalf of the complainant, and had converted a substantial part of it to his personal use.
According to him, the defendant allegedly threatened to harm the complainant if she failed to pay him a percentage of the proceeds of the sale of the property. He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 363, 366, 308 and 397 of the Penal Code.
Magistrate Chukwuemeka Nweke granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum. The magistrate ordered that one of the sureties must be a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) unity bar and adjourned the case to Aug 16 for hearing.