Certificate Forgery: Trial of Stockbrokers’ Ex-examiner Stalled

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Kayode Fasua

For the third time, the trial of a former Examiner of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers of Nigeria (CISN), Mr. Taiwo Asaju before an Igbosere Chief Magistrate’s Court over alleged certificate forgery has been stalled.

Counsel to the accused person, Mrs. Taiwo Obajimi, told the court that Asaju was involved in an auto crash and suffered a broken neck, hence his inability to appear in court.

Asaju is standing trial for allegedly forging a 1998 Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin.

At the resumption of the case two weeks ago, the accused person was also absent in court, a situation that infuriated the Chief Magistrate, P.I Bakare, who wondered why the accused was absent when the defence counsel had actually asked for the dates.

The magistrate therefore adjourned the case to January 10, 2019; but the chief magistrate was also absent on the adjourned date, owing to some administrative demand.

When the trial began last December, the Principal Assistant Registrar of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Mr. Abdulateef Lanre-Adi, while being examined by the counsel for Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution, Mr. Olaitan Soetan argued that Asaju forged the Higher National Diploma ascribed to the institution, which he now parades.

Soetan sought to know how Asaju obtained his Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and HND from the Kwara Polytechnic, having used them to work in many places.

In his response, Lanre-Adi, who came to represent the polytechnic’s registrar, Mr. Moses Salami, said the institution received a petition from a law firm and another from the police, “that we should investigate his studentship with the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin.”

He said, “I was one of the officers detailed to carry out the findings. We discovered that Christopher Taiwo Asaju was our student who obtained an OND in Computer Science in 1993 but up till now, has not come to claim his certificate.

“Again, one of the issues we had to investigate was an HND certificate believed to have emanated from the polytechnic.

“That HND certificate ascribed to him could not have emanated from the Kwara State Polytechnic because the original certificate of his OND in Computer Science that would have been a precondition for processing the HND is still lying with the polytechnic.”

Lanre-Adi argued that Asaju’s HND certificate in Computer Science purportedly issued him by the polytechnic was apparently forged, as its security features were not those of the Kwara State Polytechnic.

“Besides, on the list of 1997/98 session of HND graduating students, his name could not be found,” he further told the court.

Lanre-Adi said all these formed the polytechnic’s response to the police enquiries, which was sent to the Lagos Zone 2 of the Nigeria Police Force, Onikan.

He pleaded with the court, noting that the name of the Kwara State Polytechnic “is a highly revered one, which goes to the reputation of the very reason for its existence; and as such, we want the court to do justice on this forgery and impersonation matter.”

But in her response, counsel to the accused person, Obajimi, urged for adjournment, as she prayed the court for multiple dates for her to cross-examine the prosecution witness.