From Godwin Tsa Abuja
Anambra State High Court has rejected an application by Justice Ifeanyi Nweze seeking to stop his prosecution over alleged forgery. Justice N. Odili of the court, in his ruling, held that quashing the legal opinion would amount to interfering with police duty of investigation.
The legal opinion with reference CB: 3960/X/LEG/VOL.1186 dated April 11, 2016 ,was signed by ACP Ochogwu Ogbe, on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Legal Section, Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Alagbon, Lagos. It had found Justice Nweze and his sister, Mrs Benedette Mbamalu, culpable over alleged forgery of the will of his late father, Igwe Akum Nweze, who died in January, 2004.
The legal opinion was predicated upon the police investigation which revealed that Justice Nweze,allegedly used pre-signed letterheads to remove his elder brother, Dr Michael Nweze, as a director and signatory to their father’s companies, Nweze & Co. Ltd., and Nweze & Sons Estates Ltd., to disinherit him. He also allegedly appointed both his own wife and sister, Benedette Mbamalu in Michael’s place.
The investigation further discovered that millions of naira and dollars had been fraudulently withdrawn through cash withdrawals, foreign remittances, sale of estate property as well as misappropriation of sale proceeds and rental income.
The police legal opinion had established that the suspects forged company resolutions using the pre-signed company letterheads prepared for their late father to help him in running the companies due to the distance from Onitsha to the United States where Dr Michael was living at that time.
The opinion which was addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi Lagos, read in part, “In the course of investigation, a will dated August 25, 1993 is alleged to have been forged by pages B1 and B2. This will was signed by the testator, His Royal Highness, Igwe Akum Nweze and witnessed by one Chief Christopher Nnadi and Patrick Okenwa.