Justice Ayokunle Faji of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has struck out a three-count charge of forgery preferred against the co-founder of the Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria Limited, Professor Joseph Mba, due to lack of diligent prosecution.
Professor Mba was arraigned before the court by the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, Ikoyi.
In the charge dated December 22, 2015, and filed by Effiong Asuquo for the police, the three-count charge before the court, accused Professor Mba of stating that the name of Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria LTD/GTE had been changed to Institute of Strategic Management which document was purportedly signed by him and one Dr Austin Uwandulu, knowing same to be fake, with an intent that it might be acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of the company.
It was also alleged that Prof Mba forged special resolution of an extraordinary general meeting of the institute and in the forged resolution, he stated that Apostle Dr. Hayford Ikpommosa Alile, Mazi Dr Sam Ohuabunwa, Major General Abduimalik Halilu Giwa (rtd), and Dr Austin Izagbo had been appointed as directors.
The said document was allegedly signed by him and one Samuel Ojo knowing same to be false with an intent that it might be acted upon as genuine.
Prof Mba, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Consequently, he was granted bail while the case was then adjourned for trial.
During the trial, the police prosecutor called one witness and after the first witness abandoned the case.
On May 28, 2019, Justice Faji ordered that hearing notice be served on the prosecution due to their series of absence from court proceedings.
In the same vein, Prof Mba’s lawyer, Ike Uko, also wrote a reminder to the prosecution but on the next adjourned day, neither the prosecution nor witnesses were in court.
Consequently, upon listening to the prayer of the defendant’s counsel, Ukou, Justice Faji ruled: “The prosecution and witness being absent for five adjournments, it is hereby ordered as follows: That this charge is accordingly hereby struck out.”