The accountant of the Federal College of Education, Eha-Amugu, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, Emmanuel Sombo has been sentenced to 304 years imprisonment for forgery and fraud.by an Enugu State High Court.
He was convicted on Thursday after a lengthy trial that started in 2010. He had pleaded not guilty to the 61 count charges slammed on him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He was alleged to have, on several occasions, forged the signatures of the principal officers of the institution on promissory notes, which he used to withdraw amounts running into N34 million from the institution’s first bank account for his personal use.
The principal officers including the Provost, the Registrar and the Bursar denied signing the cheques with which the accused withdrew the monies.
The EFCC’s forensic experts who took samples of the principal officers’ signatures confirmed that the signatures on the cheques used in the transactions were forged.
Delivering judgement on the matter, the presiding judge, Kenneth Okpe, ruled that the facts before the court proved that the accused personally forged the signatures.
He said: “The court is satisfied that the circumstantial evidence placed before it is cogent, compelling and points irresistibly to the fact that the accused person committed the offence as charged. He acted alone and is still alone as he could not call even one witness from the College to support his defence.
“These elements of the offence are present in the instant case, and I, therefore, hold that the prosecution has proved all the ingredients of the offence of forgery beyond every reasonable doubt