Fresh troubles may be ahead of the suspended/dismissed former general superintendent of Assemblies of God Nigeria, Rev. Paul Emeka, as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami has officially taken over his prosecution for forgery from Assemblies of God.
Emeka was alleged to have forged a University of Derby Professorial Certificate which he purportedly claimed to had been awarded to him by the authorities of the University of Derby, Derbyshire, England, on August 2, 2005.
He allegedly presented himself to the Assemblies of God Nigeria as a professor from
University of Derby, and based on the information he presented to the church, he was made one of the trustees of the church.
Sometime in January 2015, the church (complainant), upon investigation found out that Rev. Emeka (defendant) allegedly forged the professional certificate he presented to the church, because University of Derby, where he claimed to have received his professorship title, sent a disclaimer letter on January 15, 2015, through Mr. James Eaglesfield, the head of Governance and IT Portfolio, that it had no record of the name Paul Emeka in the university’s Conferment Committee archives, and that they did not know of him receiving a title of professor.
“The name Paul Emeka does not appear in the university’s Conferment Committee archives and we do not hold a record of Paul Emeka receiving a title of professor.
“The University of Derby did not issue the attached certificate and none of the signatories are, or have been, post-holders at the University of Derby,” the university declared.
The Incorporated Trustees of Assemblies of God Nigeria on discovery that the said certificate was fake, petitioned the Nigeria Police Force.
In November 2015, the Nigeria Police completed its investigation but failed to charge Emeka to court due to manipulations by the former Inspector General Of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, who was recommended for appointment by then President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Orisetjafor.
Emeka was Ayo Orisetjafor’s campaign manager for South-East when he contested for the position of the president of CAN.
The Registered Trustees of Assemblies of God Nigeria filed a direct criminal complaint against Emeka at the Upper Area Court, Gudu, Abuja in a case No. CR/1081/15, in pursuant to Section 88(1) and 90 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
On February 4, 2016, presiding Justice Umar Yusuf Kargarko ordered the Nigerian Police to arrest and produce Emeka for trial.
“It is hereby ordered that the police shall bring the said investigation report together with the suspect before this Honourable Court,” Kargarko ordered.
The police refused obeying that order despite the acknowledgement of the receipt of the court order by the Inspector General of Police Monitoring Unit on February 17, 2016.
It was on this note that the Attorney General of the Federation, who was complained to by the counsel to the Incorporated Trustees of Assemblies Of God Nigeria, Barr Ifeanyi Nwaeze, directed the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, to take over the prosecution because certificate forgery and use of forged documents are crimes against the state, punishable under Section 363,364 and 366 of the Penal Code.
Offence of forgery with fraudulent intent is punishable under Section 364 of the same law with 10 to 20 years in jail.
At the resumed sitting of the court yesterday, lawyers to Rev. Emeka came to present the order for stay of execution given by Justice Ogbonnaya of the Federal High Court, Abuja, but they were shocked to notice the presence of prosecution sent by the Attorney General of the Federation.
The prosecutor from the Ministry of Justice, Mrs I. A. Charles Okolie told Justice Kagarko that the Attorney General of the Federation had given an approval for the federal government to prosecute Rev. Emeka.
The presiding judge told Barr J. U. Ajii, counsel to Emeka, that he could not disobey the directives of the Attorney General of the Federation.
The court adjourned the matter till September 19 to enable the Attorney General prepare and amend the charges to read ‘Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs Rev Dr Paul Emeka.’